Bipedal Balloon Robot Charms at California Tech Fair

Meet BALLU, a bipedal blimp robot that, according to its inventor, cannot fall down, and which charmed those attending an XPRIZE event in California.

The robot was invented by Dennis Hong, director of the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory at UCLA, who recorded this video of BALLU at the tech event.

BALLU (short for Buoyancy Assisted Lightweight Legged Unit) is “low cost, lightweight, safe,” Hong told Storyful, though it’s not suited for outdoor use as it could be blown away by wind. BALLU “can literally walk on water and walk on a tight rope,” Hong said.

The Long Beach gathering was XPRIZE’s first public testing event since the Ansari XPRIZE in 2004, organizers said. Credit: Dennis Hong via Storyful

Video transcript