This jolly little robot gets around not by walking or crawling, but by rolling along on a single unicycle wheel.
Murata’s Seiko-chan (Murata Girl) self-balancing unicycle robot first came onto the scene back in 2008, but has recently been upgraded so it can tool along 3 times faster than the original. An ultrasonic sensor and camera help Seiko keep on the straight and narrow, avoiding obstacles along the way.
Seiko-chan can now turn on a 2-centimeter radius, and can even balance itself on a narrow balance beam (I’d love to see her make her way along a tightrope someday).
If you happen to be attending the CEATEC show in Japan from October 6th through 10th, you’ll be able to see Seiko-chan up close and personal. Other than getting bloggers like me to write about them, I can’t think of too many practical uses for a balancing unicycle ‘bot, can you?