1. Could you in a few words introduce your project?
MorpHex is a sphere shaped hexapod that is able to walk on six legs and transform into a ball. MorpHex also has the ability to roll like a ball by moving the sphere sections in a sequence.
2. What fascinates you about building robots?
I’ve always been fascinated by robots since I was a little boy and have made also sorts of funny machines ever since then. I find hobby robotics fun and challenging, especially since making robots involve many different skills like programming, electronics, mechanics and design. Making a machine that moves like its alive is the part that really fascinates me.
3. What inspired you to start building Morphex?
For a couple of years ago my two eldest kids played a lot with a toy called Bakugan marbles that turn into creatures. Looking at the marbles I got the idea of making a hexapod robot with similar features.
4. What kind of trends do you see in consumer robotics?
I think there will be more and more interaction between humans and robots, especially when it comes to robots that can help elder people to stay and live longer at their homes. We all know that computers are getting faster and more advanced for every month. But this doesn’t mean that the programs get automatically smarter, only faster. But in the near future I’m pretty sure we are going to see much more advanced AI on robots.
5. In what kind of applications do you see robots, such as Morphex, become useful?
: I think that MorpHex is mostly a work of art. I’ve been contacted by some companies in the US that has shown interests of my project. To be honest, I don’t see many practical applications for it. You see, my goal was to have fun creating something unique. Maybe someone else is able to see an application for it?
6. You are currently working on the next Morphex, can you reveal some details about the changes you look to introduce?
At first glance MorpHex are going to look just the same as the first version. The major difference is that each of the upper sphere sections will have 2 DOF (degree of freedom) instead of 1 DOF. Many of the servo motors needs an upgrade for more torque and the number for servos increases from 25 to 31. Hopefully the next version will be able to roll better around in any direction.
7. What’s the most important thing you want people to know about your project?
Making MorpHex has so far been the hardest hobby project I’ve ever done. So far all custom parts are made by hand, no CNC machines. Both the mechanics and programming was a great challenge. Another thing I want all people to know: That robotics is fun!
8. Where can readers find more information about Morphex?
Visit my blog for more information. www.zentasrobots.com