Kugel Balance: Ballbots - The Future of Personal Transport?
There has been a constant desire for easy travel to simplify life with numerous attempts made to achieve the
same. Present day transport devices are restricted to motion in a single direction and various steering constraints. Kugel
balance (ball balance) is a personal transporter which aims to solve this problem by using the concepts of omnidirectionality
and self-balancing. It achieves the above two properties by utilizing a ball instead of conventional wheels for traversing in a
plane. This paper is an exploratory step towards achieving this in a simple, functional and cost effective manner. Inspired
from a class of robots called Ballbots, a single point of contact is achieved between ball and ground. A person riding the
Kugel balance is capable of traversing in any direction at a given instant by gently leaning in the desired direction of travel
while seated on the device. A lot of research has been carried out with respect to omnidirectionalsystems particularly in the
field of mobile robotics for improved human-robot interaction. The structure, mechanism, initial observations and results
from the Kugel Balance along with learning from a small scale prototype are described in this paper.