Sphere morphing hexabot is a mechanical jellyfish

Once again, we’re wowed over [Zenta]’s robotic skill. A few months ago, [Zenta] posted a video of his MorpHex hexapod spherebot that left us awed. After a few long months, more bits of MorpHex have made it onto the chassis. [Zenta] says his project isn’t done but it’s still enough to knock our socks off.

Going through the [Zenta] archives, there’s a little more to go on this time around. The MorpHex will be made up of two hemispheres, but only the bottom one will be able to walk. That’s really not that bad because [Zenta] gave the upper panels 1 degree of freedom. Just enough to scare off predators, we’re sure.

The chassis and the legs are amazing little pieces of engineering. Despite all the work [Zenta] has put into his MorpHex, there’s still work to be done. He hasn’t gotten the sphere to roll on command yet. We’ll be sure to post a video of the robot dancing to some lo-fi. Check that out after the jump.

35 thoughts on “Sphere morphing hexabot is a mechanical jellyfish

    1. Those hexapods use standard servo’s which are quite large. Even if you would use micro servo’s (which are half as big) it would still be a large ball.

    2. Hah! Glad to know I wasn’t the only one. My first thought was ‘whoa, those are big hands!!’ then ‘oh, duh….’ :)

      This thing is pretty impressive, is it me or does it look like he’s controlling the servos individually & manually?

  1. I’m totally stoked by the sophistication of the projects by unsupported individuals and groups, many of which rival projects by major academic labs and industry. I feel like we are seeing a democratization of technology that will fundamentally change cultures across the globe. Let us just hope no one invents Skynet.

    – Robot

    1. I’m kind of hoping someone DOES invent Sky-Net — not the evil one from the movies, but a liberator.

      I share your sentiment that what is coming out of the hobby sector far surpasses what the private sector has accomplished.

      I just hope that we invent Sky-Net (and open-source it) before they do. ;-)

      1. from what I can see it has the capabilities to be able to do so, since it has independent control of every panel. He just doesn’t have the controls set up for it.

    1. Definitely, we all want to see it roll around !! It would made the spherical shape not only beautiful but a practical sense of design.

  2. The only way you could make this production worth while is spending more time designing a way to top-bottom and counter balance on certain inverts..maybe more A.I. too..

    It also needs to be miniaturized to be usable in really cool scenarios.

    I know..I know..stop criticizing/trolling

    1. I was thinking the Exact same thing about Samus (not Metroid Prime, though).

      Definitely one of the most impressive pieces of engineering in a while.

  3. I definitely see where “jellyfish” comes from in the title. I’d love to see this be water-bound. Zenta definitely has some really cool development going on here, going through the comments I definitely see a morphing-roll-hydro-helo-bot coming from this. Oh hell why not just attach a friggin’ laser to it. Dr. Evil would be so proud!

  4. This is awesome…
    The most innovative robot project (when it comes to mechanics) I’ve seen in a long time!!!
    I’m looking forward to further development :)

  5. “It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than a biro pen.” – seriously, you but the off switch INSIDE! “Tazer, Tazer, Deploy DEPLOY!”

  6. Am I the only one who thinks it needs more RGB LEDs pointed at the insides of those beuatiful white diffuser pannels? Walking light show anyone?

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