The Mars Ball Project was an LPL graduate student effort to design and build an innovative Mars rover platform that could surmount obstacles like rocks and craters by alternatively inflating and deflating airbags around a central hub.
Graduate students in the mid-1980s led the effort under the guidance of Professor Don Hunten. The device was built in the Kuiper basement and was tested on the lawns and slopes surrounding the building. The technical report describes the effort and lessons learned while the video documents the performance of the rover. The effort also appeared on an episode of a TV series on space exploration, also below.