Fascinating ‘Ringbot’ monocycle robot rolls around and balances on two legs

The monocycle robot can go at speeds up to 5 km/h.
  • The ‘Ringbot’ is a monocycle robot prototype with compactly mounted legs that fit inside the wheel
  • It has been developed by researchers at the Kinetic Intelligence Machine (KIM) Lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • The bot not only drives without instruction, it also balances and turns itself using its legs

Published on Feb 29, 2024 at 8:41PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Mar 6, 2024 at 2:14PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

What you’re looking at here is the ‘Ringbot’, a monocycle robot that rolls and balances with its two tiny legs.

Instead of driver and driving components, the protoype has compactly mounted legs that fit inside the wheel.

It’s a fascinating thing to watch, and just shows how science fiction is fast becoming a reality.

READ MORE! Dubai hosts first-ever jet suit race that’s ‘exactly like Iron Man’

Scientists are working on concepts, like this monocycle robot, which may have seemed bizarre a few years ago.

Bicycles have long been the norm in society but if the truth be told, unicycles or monocycles don’t have the same popularity – a bit like this bizarre pedal-less bicycle.

Sci-fi movies might’ve drawn your attention to monowheels, but in cities across the world, they have a useful application.

With urban areas packed full of cars taking up a lot of space, a monowheel could effectively shrink the space needed for a solo traveler and provide a city-friendly option to move around.

There’s no shortage of home-made monowheels online, like these guys who built one powered by a motorbike engine.

Ringbot is entirely different, though, as it’s built with two independent driving modules fitted neatly inside its slim wheel body.

According to the video, shared by the researchers behind monocycle robot, each module can control its velocity to track its orientation.

When required, the modules can even make full rotations inside the wheel.

Ringbot can travel up to around 5 km/h (3 mph) and, more importantly, it can move around independently without needing assistance for balancing or turning, made possible by the two legs in the prototype’s design.

As seen in the above video, when the wheel loses balance and drops to one side, the two legs serve as support and help it stand up.

Sensors confirm that the wheel has been stabilized and then the legs return to their resting position, with the driving modules kicking in and restarting their journey.

The bot is able to balance itself before it falls and recovers into a stable position.

The bot even has the ability to deploy its legs to turn around in the desired direction.

Its single-wheel design allows it to overcome multiple small obstacles by simply traveling over them.

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