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.


  1. raged says:

    Very cool!

  2. heine says:

    This is truly impressive; however it looks like the links to his site are broken?

  3. jaqen says:

    why do i feel a slight unease on the upper part of my head, when i watch him turn it on/off?

  4. andar_b says:

    Am I the only one who thought it was about the size of a tennis ball until the person’s hands entered the frame?

    • Daid says:

      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.

    • drgncabe says:

      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?

  5. M4CGYV3R says:

    That’s pretty cool. Not sure what practical use, but very fun to play with.

    Also, that’s a hell of a remote.

  6. Cristian says:

    Make this minion faster and add an alarm clock to it. One hell of a pen chase or soccer match every morning..

  7. Robot says:

    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

  8. J. Peterson says:


    I have to admit though, when it folds into a sphere I was so hoping it would roll away on its own.

  9. Regulus says:

    That is so ridiculously cute!
    One more thing I need to print out.

  10. matt says:

    He needs to have the ability to roll around for faster transport!

  11. xorpunk says:

    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

  12. COREYEYE says:

    gotta catch them all!

  13. Hirudinea says:

    That thing is creapy and funky, crunky if you will, so when does it come to Toys R Us?

  14. Mathorne says:

    If you look beyond rolling, it would be even cooler if the top half could function as a helicopter…

    Great design!!!

  15. Unclegummers says:

    Wow, anyone else reminded of Metriod Prime? Very sexy bot.

  16. Jerzee says:

    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!

  17. stab3r says:

    damn it i want a hexapod,
    but i only have the parts for 4 legs ;p

  18. Eirinn says:

    Very impressive! Would have been more impressive if it could roll though ;)

  19. rei says:

    i want to see the ball releasing a hoop of steam as its shell snaps in place XD

  20. TG says:

    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 :)

  21. Cathy Garrett says:

    It’s cool, but not as cool as these: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Droideka
    Not so much a droid squid as a droid hermit crab.

    And can it actually roll and then stop itself and start walking? Can it walk right-side up or upside down?

  22. anon says:

    “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!”

  23. Tektite6 says:

    DARPA will be knocking on your door for a job, China will be knocking off your work for toys.

  24. Thomas says:

    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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