The HoverBall Will Likely Give A New Role To Balls
Balls have always played a major part in people’s lives, and from childhood onward, we’ve kicked, thrown and dodged them.
But Japanese inventor Jun Rekimoto says he has grander plans for the humble ball.
And he’s done so with his HoverBall, which is a ball that can hover and fly, and can also be adapted to help people with special needs.
"Why not, widen its vocabulary?".
"With this technology, the physical dynamics of a ball can be reprogrammed by sports designers, and new ball-playing vocabularies, such as hovering, anti-gravity, proximity, or remote manipulation, can be introduced to extend the way people interact with balls".
Says Jun Rekimoto
How Does The HoverBall Hover?
The HoverBall, which was developed by Jun Rekimoto at the University of Tokyo and colleagues, is a plastic ball that has the ability to hover thanks to a 90 mm / 3.5 in wide drone that’s inside it.
The team says the HoverBall, which has a flight time of five minutes, will not only aid physical rehabilitation, but will also help create a level playing field in ball-games.
How Is The Ball Controlled?
At the moment, the ball is controlled remotely, but in the future it will be programmed to follow a particular flight path.
Exercise And Rehabilitation
The team told the Augmented Human conference in Kobe, Japan, on March 7 2014 that,
"The most likely application of the HoverBall, could be as an aid to exercise or rehabilitation".
"But there is work to be done before we get to have a go".
"To design a ball with enough durability against strong physical impact needs more research".
How Will The HoverBall Affect Games?
The ball can be stopped or slowed down, or sped up, and its directions can be changed.
So a child or less athletic person would receive the ball in a nice easy way, whereas an expert would really be put to the test.
In baseball for example, a HoverBall will allow weaker players who struggle to throw a curve ball or a goggly, to do so with relative ease.