How can we design a ball-shaped robot as partner for paediatric physiotherapists?
Mar 2022 - ongoing
Fizzy wants to be a child’s playmate, comparable to a pet. The ball does this by creating its own character through its unpredictability and playful behavior. In this way, children are invited to be physically active. Something that could be of use during rehabilitation.
The Fizzy 2.0 project is the successor of the Fizzy the Robotic Ball project. A collaboration between the company Luuno, the faculty of Industrial Design and the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering led to a new approach. Luuno wants to use the available knowledge at the university to make the robotic ball commercially available.
Prof. Dr.-Ing Heike Vallery came up with a clever solution for a robotic ball that uses only one motor and yet can move around the entire room. This is done by moving the weight of the internal electronics around an axis. The movement of the weight changes the location of the centre of mass of the ball. Changes in the location can be seen as changes in the heading.
The design of the outer shell will be a crucial element of Fizzy. During play, children will throw and kick the ball around. So Fizzy must meet several requirements before they can be approved. Most requirements concern the safety of children when playing with fizzy. But we do not wat to end up with something like a tank. This challenge is taken up by the department of BioMechanical Engineering.