What we have here is a vehicle capable of omni-directional movement, at extremely high speed and with that same scary-agile mobility. Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of robot that would be useful for much in the way of rescue operations, which is one thing those quadrotors could be used for, since they can fly.
But there are still some cool applications that might come to mind:
- Space flight — Gimbal wheels are used in CMGs to maneuver spacecraft.
- Along the same vein, low-traction navigation — Driving over snow, sand, soft dirt or even ice can be especially difficult with conventional wheels, which rely more on static friction to give control and speed. Gimbal wheels can have a wide surface area in contact with the ground, and seem to use kinetic friction. (The difference between static and kinetic friction is the same as the idea that something is harder to get started moving than it is to keep it moving.
- And obviously, awesome toys.
If you look at what this is made out of, it’s pretty simple. Just a few electronics parts and LEGOs. That’s it. With the way he’s framing it, it could yield some interesting results in the low-traction navigation field. Check out how it slides to a stop and changes directions, when he drives it on the basketball court.
Can you think of any more ideas for how it could be applied to the real world?