A Real R2-D2 Is Coming Soon

Check out this freaking awesome ballbot (not kidding, that's it's name) performing Puttin' on the Ritz a la Young Frankenstein while it's creator and overlord claps out commands over at the TED site. 

There's one thing that comes to my mind -- strapping lasers to that thing! Well, actually they already do that, just not to kill people. But the second thing that comes to my mind -- holy crap, there's gonna be awesome real-life R2-D2-like robot things, spinning around on their balls in the not too distant future.

The whole thing looks like a giant roll-on deodorant tube turned upside-down and balancing on it's basketball sized ball. Three rubber rollers, like what you'd find inside of a ball mouse but scaled up, rest on the ball and actively balance the whole robot by spinning counter to the robot's pitch to keep it upright. Kind of like a Segway, but in three dimensions.

Then he demos some movements and actions the robot can preform. Passive, following a human, orbiting a human, acting as a 'level-up' in a street fighting style scenario. To be fair I added that last one, but let's be honest, that's what we're all thinking. Going street to street fighting gang members one on one, some with crowbars, many look exactly alike, all to go rescue some girl who's probably your girlfriend or something, you're just wailing on guys left and right, but they just keep coming. Then suddenly one of these things rolls up and you tap on it, and it starts orbiting around you with sick robot arms or photon torpedos, blam blam blam blam...

Probably gonna happen. You wait and see. I give that scenario a likelihood of 98% by 2035.

 

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