It is tempting to use personifications (``dynamic'', ``nimble'', ``madcap'', ...) to describe robotic systems; we have in fact given
in to such temptations on these pages.
These temptations are especially strong for a vehicle endowed with feedback, which often bestows the vehicle with a certain life-like responsiveness,
and makes the vehicle particularly engaging as a toy.
Thus, we have explored (through three major design iterations) the miniaturization and simplification of our original iHop concept to form a (non-hopping) self-righting Segway
dubbed iFling that can pick up and throw ping-pong balls (or swack them around, using the leg as a hockey stick).
Due to the very careful attention paid during its design, picking up a ball is in fact quite easy with this vehicle:
simply roll over a ball and wedge it between the body and one of the rotating wheels.
Throwing a ball is also quite effective, and is achieved in a precise and energetic lacrosse/jai-alai/TracBall fashion.
Note also that iFling uses a custom printed circuit board to connect exactly the right electronics (PIC, accelerometers, motor drivers, etc.) together with a minimum footprint.