ETH Zurich team builds Cubli – A Cube that can Walk, Jump and Balance


A team from ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich), an  Engineering, Science, Technology, Mathematics and management university has built a Cube that can walk, jump and balance. The word Cubli comes from the English word Cube and the Swiss German, diminutive.

According to Gajamohan Mohanarajah, one of the researchers on the Cubli team, “It is not a  Gyroscope. In a gyroscope the wheel spins at a high angular velocity to keep the orientation constant. In the Cubli, the controller uses the concept of reaction torque, a torque that the structure ‘feels’ when the motors attached to the structure accelerate/decelerate the wheels (Newton’s third law of motion).”

“And why reaction torques are better? They are more responsive towards external disturbances and keeping the wheel velocity around zero reduces a lot of vibration and noise, especially on the sensors,” he adds.

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