Hands down the “robot of the week” has to be NASA’s “Super Ball”.
Space exploration! Robots! Tensegrity!
A bunch of sticks and wires that walks and hops! This is seriously cool!
As the NASA posts make clear, this is really a good thing for planetary exploration. It is light, and packs into a small space. It is very rugged, so you can basically just drop it onto the surface. (Though they still need to work out how to carry payloads and instruments.)
Watching it move reminds me of molecules moving, e.g., viruses and antibodies. Given the efficiency, durability, and ubiquitiy of such biological systems, I have to think this bot has got to be on the right track.
Can I get one for my birthday??