New Delhi: Rezero, a
robot that moves on a ball, was unveiled here Wednesday.
Crafted by a team of Swiss engineers and designers, the ballbot
follows people around and can carry heavy loads with a grace of an
Ballbots are robots designed to move on a single sphere instead of
wheels. This allows for omnidirectional, organic motion,
exceptional agility and manoeuverability unlike other robots which
usually have a linear motion.
Members of the team and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,
Zurich (ETH, Zurich) students, Thomas Kammermann and Jerome Kaser,
talked to reporters about Rezero at the Swiss embassy here.
"While designing Rezero, the main focus was on refining the
technology. Developing the applications comes later," Kammermann
"Rezero moves on a hollow, specially coated aluminium ball and 3
omni-wheels powered by space-grade motors for powering the
locomotion. The bot uses microprocessor-based systems to
communicate with the operator and a laser-based radar system to
lock onto someone (or something) to follow," said Kammerman.
Rezero's very small footprint and dynamic stability made it
particularly suited for applications in narrow, crowded and
"This design is very suitable for applications such as carrying
medical equipment or surveillance in crowded areas and since this
is a dynamically stable system, its stability gets better as the
centre of gravity gets higher. This means, the Rezero gets more
stable as more load is piled on it," Kammerman said.
According to Kaser, the focus of design was agility and stability.
"Currently, Rezero can move at a top speed of 3.5 metres per
second and has been tested to bear loads up to 20 kilos so far,"
Ballbot is not a new concept but Rezero has been making news in
robotics circles for its next generation performance. The next
stop for the 13-member team is Kanpur where they will exhibit
Rezero in Techkriti, the tech-fest of IIT Kanpur.