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Future Tech: 

These robotic balls can do just about anything


Stack ’em to the skies

Making your own robot might sound like a daunting task, but these robotic balls are here to help. They’re modular, which means they stack together to make something far greater than the sum of their parts – think the Autobots when they combine.

So what can you make with them? Pretty much anything you want. The video on the Kickstarter page shows a monkey-esque ‘bot lumbering about, then a Sphero-style mini machine racing around the floor, and a GorillaPod-style camera that you can attach to virtually any surface. And all made using these balls.

We should stop calling them balls. They’re called CellRobot, and they’ve been five years in the making.

Each has a universal connector, so they can join up without any tools or tinkering necessary. The programming might not be so simple, however. It promises to be easier than other robots, but still, it might turn some people off.

You can control your ‘bot using an app on your smartphone. And that’s it. Over to you and your imagination.

The firm behind it promises to keep improving CellRobot, so it should become more advanced over time. The promo video shows the ‘bots joining to play musical instruments, paint a canvas and even pour drinks.

Each robot needs a heart unit which communicates with your smartphone or tablet. The other modules are cells, each containing a servo motor, sensor and an independent MCU (microprogrammed control unit). Connect them to the heart, and you can make them move in any way you like.

X-Cells are standard cells with special powers – spotlights, cameras, wheels etc. – so you can enhance your robot.

It’s about halfway to its funding goal, and still has 42 days to go. If this takes off, it could be Terminator 2 made real. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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