Disney's spinning armadillos defy gravity

Disney researchers have combined 3D printing with a clever new algorithm that makes it possible to create an object of any shape and make it spin.

Researchers found that a solid object that fails to maintain a balanced rotation could be redesigned to create stability.

The developers input the shape into their system and allow the algorithm to figure out how to redistribute the object's mass in order to gain greater control of its centre of gravity.

Lead researcher Moritz Bächer described to the BBC how asymmetrical shapes like teapots and "breakdancing armadillos" can be spun continuously without toppling over.

The project was presented at the Siggraph computing conference in Vancouver this week, but Disney has refused to be drawn on any plans to release their new tools to the public.

BBC News