Cubli The Robotic Cube Can Walk & Jump

Swiss researchers at Zurich’s ETH Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, have built a cube-shaped robot that can walk around and balance itself on its edges or corners.  The Cubli  is able to accomplish these feats because it has three internal spinning wheels, which provide a gyroscopic balancing force. The Cubli device can be commanded to fall in any given direction. Combining these three abilities — jumping up, balancing, and controlled falling — the Cubli is able to, in effect, ‘walk’.”

The Cubli is aware if its position and orientation, because of Inertial sensors connected to an embedded processor and controller, these allow it to stand up on one edge, then move up from there to a single corner and even spin around on an axis.
The principles used are similar to those used in satellites to stabilise them in orbit, so they don’t end up spinning around uselessly. The practical uses for the Cubli’s unusual method of locomotion include walking around on planets during space exploration and it may also be used as a way to develop self-assembling robots.