The Cubli Is a Real Life Companion Cube That Balances, Jumps, and Spins on Its Corners

We are required to remind you that the Cubli cannot talk. In the event that it does talk, we ask you to ignore its advice.

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We’re not saying they’re evil, but ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic System is basically Aperture Science. They’ve built the “Cubli,” which is essentially a Companion Cube that can walk, jump, and balance on its edges and corners. We already love it and want to help it get through test chambers.

The Cubli manages to do what it does with the help of onboard rotors that each spin on a different axis to keep the cube balanced. More than that, the wheels can be brought up to speed and then stopped short to create angular momentum. That momentum can be controlled to allow the cube to get up on an edge, and then onto a corner from a rest position on one of its faces. It can also control its falls. These actions can be combined into a sort of walking motion seen in the video.

So this isn’t really a companion cube. It’s better. You don’t have to carry it around the Aperture lab. It can follow you.

(via The Verge, image via Gajamohan Mohanarajah)

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Glen Tickle
Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.