iFling, a robot developed by Prof. Tom Bewley's Coordinated Robotics Lab, has been grabbing the spotlight this past week. It has been featured on MSNBC's Future of Technology blog, the popular website Gizmodo and the Automaton blog at IEEE Spectrum.
The robot is designed to pick up standard-size ping-pong balls off the floor and fling them across the room (hence the iFling name), all while standing upright and balancing on two wheels, Segway-style. It is currently going through its third design iteration. It could be automated to create teams of bots playing catch together. Or it could be built on a bigger scale and fling tennis balls, baseballs and volleyballs. It could even work without an operator. But bloggers seemed particularly excited by the possibility of iFling becoming dogs' best friend.
A video produced by Bewley's lab showing off iFling's moves had received more than 37,000 views as of Wednesday morning. Watch it for yourself to see what this little robot can do: