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Tensegrity Robotics Goes Viral

Wow! It has been an interesting couple of weeks!
Back on Dec. 23rd IEEE Spectrum published an interview with us on our “SuperBall Bot” – a tensegrity robot for Landing and Planetary Exploration. From there the news went viral and was covered by around 60 media outlets around the world! The original IEEE blog post was well written and based on a direct interview with us. The other media…. Well, lets just say that it was an excellent lesson in the horrible quality of science reporting. There were some excellent pieces here and there where folks had done actual research and dug up information on our project from our past papers and this blog (thank you!) — but much of the news coverage was wildly inaccurate — with factual inventions which were then copied and repeated by others.

Here is the video interview that was associated with the IEEE blog. This is a great video, and I’m glad it is available to share. In the first two weeks it was viewed about 280,000 times. neat!

For the fun of it, here are some of the other media articles that we found. I had to stop eventually, so I know this is an incomplete list.

1.
Source: Los Angeles Times SCIENCE
Date: December 30, 2013, 4:58 p.m.
Title: NASA ‘super ball bot’ could one day bounce onto Saturn’s moon Titan
URL:http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-nasa-super-ball-bot-explore-saturn-moon-titan-20131230,0,7804795.story#axzz2p0sLVqh0

2.
Source: Huffington Post
Date: Posted: 12/29/2013 12:20 pm EST | Updated: 12/30/2013 2:27 pm EST
Title: Will NASA’s New Squishy ‘Super Ball Bot’ Be Next To ‘Dance’ On Saturn’s Moon?
URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/29/nasa-squishy-super-ball-bot-video_n_4509688.html
(French Version URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2013/12/27/super-ball-bo-etrange-futur-robot-nasa-titan_n_4508164.html)
(Title: Super Ball Bot : l’étrange futur robot de la Nasa qui pourrait aller sur Titan)

3.
Source: The Atlantic
Date: DEC 30 2013, 11:27 AM ET
Title: NASA’s Next Rover May Be This Crazy Walking Sphere
URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/nasas-next-rover-may-be-this-crazy-walking-sphere/282707/

4.
Source: IT Wire
Title: NASA developing Super Ball Bots for robotic exploration
Date: 30 December 2013
URL: http://www.itwire.com/science-news/space/62710-nasa-developing-super-ball-bots-for-robotic-exploration

5.
Source: International Science Times
Date: December 27, 2013 4:51 PM EST
Title: ‘Super Ball Bot’ Rover: NASA’s Crazy Wheel-Free Robot Could Bounce Around Planets One Day
URL: http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6586/20131227/nasa-wheel-free-rover-super-ball-bot.htm

6.
Source: Phys.org
Date: Dec 28, 2013
Title: NASA team studies ball bot as future space explorer
URL: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-nasa-team-ball-bot-future.html

7.
Source: Science Recorder
Date: December 29, 2013
Title: NASA’s Super Ball Bot to conquer space exploration
URL: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/nasas-super-ball-bot-to-conquer-space-exploration/

8.
Source: Nature World News
Date: December 30, 2013, 2:18 PM EST
Title: NASA’s Bouncy Super Ball Bots May be Planetary Rovers of the Future
URL: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/5470/20131230/nasas-bouncy-super-ball-bots-planetary-rovers-future-video.htm

9.
Source: Auto World News
Date: Dec 30, 2013 09:21 AM EST
Title: NASA’S SUPER BALL BOTS SET TO EXPLORE SATURN’S LARGEST MOON?
URL: http://www.autoworldnews.com/articles/5609/20131230/nasa-s-super-ball-bots-set-to-explore-saturn-s-largest-moon.htm

10.
Source: Latino Post
Date: Dec 30, 2013 06:40 PM EST
Title: NASA Super Ball Bot Could Explore Solar System in Unique Ways
URL: http://www.latinopost.com/articles/2623/20131230/nasa-super-ball-bot-explore-solar-system-unique-ways.htm

11.
Source: Counsel & Heal Science/Tech
Date: Dec 30, 2013 10:04 AM EST
Title: NASA Starts Working On ‘Super Bot’ Rover For Saturn’s Titan
URL: http://www.counselheal.com/articles/8115/20131230/nasa-starts-working-on-super-bot-rover-for-saturn-s-titan.htm

12.
Source: The Space Reporter
Date: Monday, December 30, 2013
Title: NASA begins work on ‘super bot’ rover for Saturn’s Titan
URL: http://thespacereporter.com/2013/12/nasa-begins-work-on-super-bot-rover-for-saturns-titan

13.
Source: Red Orbit
Date: December 29, 2013
Title: NASA’s Flexible Rover Could Be Used On Future Mission To Titan
URL: http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1113036316/nasa-super-ball-bot-next-generation-planetary-rover-titan-mission-122913/

14.
Source: Inventor SPOT
Title: NASA’s Super Ball Bot Will Be Exploring The Surface Of Titan
URL: http://inventorspot.com/articles/nasas_super_ball_bot_will_be_exploring_surface_titan

15.
Source: RT.com
Date: December 28, 2013 13:07
Title: NASA’s twitchy bouncy roboball may explore Titan one day
URL: http://rt.com/news/tensegrity-robot-nasa-titan-919/

16.
Source: Headline & Global News
Date: Dec 28, 2013 01:40 PM EST
Title: Super Ball Bot: NASA Working on ‘Tensegrity’ Robots to Explore Titan
URL: http://www.hngn.com/articles/20668/20131228/super-ball-bot-nasa-working-on-tensegrity-robots-to-explore-titan.htm

17.
Source: News Tonight Africa
Date: 12/29/2013 – 12:57
Title: NASA Developing the Super Ball Bot Capable of Absorbing the Impact of Hard Planetary Landing
URL: http://newstonight.co.za/content/nasa-developing-super-ball-bot-capable-absorbing-impact-hard-planetary-landing

18.
Source: UPI
Date: Dec. 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM
Title: NASA developing robots that will land by bouncing on a surface
URL: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Blog/2013/12/27/NASA-developing-robots-that-will-land-by-bouncing-on-a-surface/2441388171330/

19.
Source: International Business Times
Date: December 29 2013 5:00 PM
Title: NASA ‘Super Ball Bot’ Can Survive 60-Mile Drop Onto Alien World Without Landing Equipment
URL: http://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-super-ball-bot-can-survive-60-mile-drop-alien-world-without-landing-equipment-1521958

20.
Source: Unexplained Mysteries
Date: Monday, 30 December, 2013
Title: ‘Super ball bots’ to explore other planets
URL: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/260023/super-ball-bots-to-explore-other-planets

21.
Source: Business Insider
Date: DEC. 28, 2013, 4:39 PM
Title: NASA’s Newest Robot Doesn’t Need Wheels To Get Around
URL: http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-super-ball-bot-2013-12

22.
Source: Engadget
Date: December 27, 2013
Title: NASA shows off a squishy robot rover that could land on Titan
URL: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/25/nasa-shows-super-ball-bot/

23.
Source: Gizmodo
Date: 12/26/13 3:30pm
Title: This Squishy NASA Rover Is Mostly Empty Space
URL: http://gizmodo.com/this-squishy-nasa-rover-is-mostly-empty-space-1489838042

24.
Source: Mail Online (UK)
Date: 11:37 EST, 27 December 2013
Title: The rover that will BOUNCE across Titan: Nasa’s collapsible Super Ball Bot could help explore Saturn’s hazy moon
URL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2529989/The-rover-BOUNCE-Titan-Nasas-collapsible-Super-Ball-Bot-help-explore-Saturns-hazy-moon.html

25.
Source: Crazy Engineers
Date: December 26, 2013
Title: NASA’s Super Ball Bot may land on Titan – Saturn’s largest moon
URL: http://www.crazyengineers.com/threads/nasas-super-ball-bot-may-land-on-titan-saturns-largest-moon.72368/

26.
Source: Medium Online
Date: Published December 30, 2013
Title: Meet the “Super Ball Bot” that’ll bounce around Titan. Rolling across its surface like tumbleweed
URL: https://medium.com/looking-up/136c52b053db

27.
Source: io9
Date: December 26, 2013
Title: NASA’s bizarre Super Ball Bot could one day roll around Titan
URL: http://io9.com/nasas-bizarre-super-ball-bot-could-one-day-roll-around-1489836456

28.
Source: IXBT (Russian)
URL: http://www.ixbt.com/news/hard/index.shtml?17/50/90

29.
Source: Women Citizen
Date: 29 December 2013
Title: Super Ball Bot: NASA Working on ‘Tensegrity’ Robots to Explore Titan
URL: http://www.womencitizen.com/space-30/super-ball-bot-nasa-working-on-tensegrity-robots-to-explore-titan-5594.html

30.
Source: Venture Beat
Date: December 30, 2013 12:50 PM
Title: NASA is designing a super flexible rover that can bounce and flatten
URL: http://venturebeat.com/2013/12/30/tensegrity-robot-nasa/

31.
Source: Slate.com
Date: December 31, 2013 12:50 PM
Title: NASA’s Latest Space Bot, Inspired by the Super Ball
URL:http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2013/12/nasa_s_super_ball_bot_robot_inspired_by_classic_toy_could_be_headed_to_saturn.html?wpisrc=seg_video

32.
Source: The Verge
Date: 12-27-2013
Title: NASA’s next robot rover squishes like a child’s Toy
URL:http://mobile.theverge.com/2013/12/27/5246498/nasas-next-robot-rover-squishes-like-a-childs-toy

33.
Source: Slashdot
Date:12-27-3013
Title: NASA Could Explore Titan With Squishable “Super Ball Bot”
URL:http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/12/27/1827206/nasa-could-explore-titan-with-squishable-super-ball-bot

34.
Source: Design and Trend
Date: 12-26-2013
Title: New ‘Squishy’ NASA Robot to Explore Titan? [VIDEO] Super Ball Bot Can Take Multiple Blows, Change Size, Roll Around on Saturn’s Moon
URL: http://www.designntrend.com/articles/9834/20131226/new-squishy-nasa-robot-explore-titan-video-super-ball-bot-can-take-multiple-blows-change-size-roll-around-saturns-moon.htm

35.
Source: French Tribune
Date: 12/28/2013
Title:NASA Develops Light Tensegrity Rovers for Extra-Planetary Exploration Mission
URL: http://frenchtribune.com/teneur/1321301-nasa-develops-light-tensegrity-rovers-extra-planetary-exploration-mission

36.
Source: The Escapist
Date: 12-30-2013
Title: NASA’s Upcoming ‘Super Bot Ball’ Might Drop Onto Saturn’s Titan
URL: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/130908-NASAs-Upcoming-Super-Bot-Ball-Might-Drop-Onto-Saturns-Titan#QBwJioz3zjlZhRqM.99

37.
Source: TopNews Arab Emirates
Date: 12/29/2013
Title: NASA Working on New, Collapsible Robot
URL: http://topnews.ae/content/219904-nasa-working-new-collapsible-robot

38.
Source: McClatchyDC
Date: 12/31/2013
Title: NASA Devises ‘Super ball bot’ landing system that is also roving system
URL: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/12/31/213196/nasa-devises-super-ball-bot-landing.html

39.
Source: Al Jezeera
Date: 12/30/2013 7:55pm PST
Title: ??? seen by friend-of-a-friend on live cable news, not recorded. someone from philadelphia museum narrating.
URL:

40.
Source: Financial Express
Date: December 31, 2013
Title: NASA’s flexible rover could explore Titan
URL: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/nasas-flexible-rover-could-explore-titan/1213879

41.
Source: FirstPost Technology
Date: December 31, 2013
Title: Nasa’s proposed Super Ball Bot to make landing rovers easier
URL: http://www.firstpost.com/tech/nasas-proposed-super-ball-bot-to-make-landing-rovers-easier-1316465.html?utm_source=ref_article

42.
Source: the Hindu
Date: January 1, 2014 8:44 am
Title: Flexible rover could explore Titan
URL: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/flexible-rover-could-explore-titan/article5526495.ece

43.
Source: Computer World
Date: January 6, 2014
Title: NASA’s new robots may revolutionize space exploration
URL: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9245209/NASA_s_new_robots_may_revolutionize_space_exploration

44.
Source: artchester.net
Date: 1-17-14
Title: Toys in Space: Sqwish Ball Goes to Titan
URL: http://artchester.net/2014/01/toys-space-sqwish-ball-goes-titan/

Posted in Robots, Tensegrity.


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