Designed by engineer Dennis Hong of the University of California’s Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa), Ballu is a one-of-a-kind robot. Its shape is that of an airship balloon that can stand upright.
Made with helium balloons and lightweight body parts, Ballu (Buoyancy Assisted Lightweight Legged Unit) has the ability to surpass the limitations of several existing robots. The first is about security and stability. Thanks to the balloon floating in the air, Ballu is a robot that cannot fall. In addition, its lightweight parts and inflatable body allow it to operate without worry in the event of physical interaction or even collision with small children. This will allow Ballu, in the future, to act in all those situations that require particular attention to the proximity of people.
The second advantage, compared to existing robots, is its cost. Ballu is as affordable as many low-cost household appliances. In the long run, this also represents opportunities for those planning to produce disposable crobots.
by Eleonora Giovinazzo