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Robotics 2012, 1(1), 3-23; doi:10.3390/robotics1010003

A Review of Active Mechanical Driving Principles of Spherical Robots

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wayne State University, 5050 Anthony Wayne Drive, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2012 / Revised: 2 November 2012 / Accepted: 16 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012


Spherical robotics is an emerging research field due to a ball’s characteristic to be holonomic, have a sealed internal environment, and rebound from collisions easily. As the research moves forward, individual groups have begun to develop unique methods of propulsion, each having distinctive engineering trade-offs: weight is sacrificed for power; speed is forfeited for control accuracy, etc. Early spherical robots operated similar to a hamster ball and had a limited torque and a high-energy loss due to internal friction. Researchers have begun to develop various novel concepts to maneuver and control this family of robot. This article is an overview of the current research directions that various groups have taken, the nomenclature used in this subdiscipline, and the various uses of the fundamental principles of physics for propelling a spherical robot. View Full-Text
Keywords: spherical robots; holonomy; holonomic robots; control moment gyroscope spherical robots; holonomy; holonomic robots; control moment gyroscope

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chase, R.; Pandya, A. A Review of Active Mechanical Driving Principles of Spherical Robots. Robotics 2012, 1, 3-23.

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