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October 11, 2018.


Mochibot. © Keiō and Tokyo universities.

Mochibot is a strange and remarkable robot made of 32 individually actuated telescoping legs, developed by a team of researchers from the Keiō and Tokyo universities. Its shape—which looks like a sphere when it’s at rest—is based on a rhombic triacontahedron, which is a polyhedron with 32 vertices and 30 faces made of rhombuses (or rhombi). Each leg has three sections to extend it from 25 to 50 cm. The autonomy of each leg’s length enables the robot to keep its balance, to move smoothly and continuously in any direction, and to better deal with varied terrain. It looks like a big sea urchin moving in fast forward. Its motion is so complex that it’s taken machine-learning to figure out the algorithms. Mochibot weighs 10 kilograms, including the batteries.

IEEE Spectrum, “32-legged spherical robot moves like an amoeba.”