Cubli is a tiny cube, measuring just 6 inches for each side. But the tiny little cube is darn impressive, especially given its ability to maintain its balance. Cubli can balance itself on its corner, then you could push, goad, spin the little cube or even dramatically change the angle of the surface it sits on, but the cube staunchly refuses to budge.
Starting from a still position, Cubli can maneuver itself onto its side, and then to its edge. Or it can just keep tumbling over its edges to walk a path. Developers of the cube say it stays in balance using an algorithm similar to what satellites use in space.
The secret of balance is in the use of controlled motor torques that not only ensure movement, but the impressive balance Cubli can maintain. An internal spinning wheel system provides angular velocity that works with inertial sensors to keep the cube balanced.
Cubli has been developed at the Dynamic Systems and Control lab at the Swiss engineering school ETH Zurich.