This is the Arctic Drifter, an amazing ball-like science lab that simply blows across the vast arctic regions of the globe gathering data as it goes.
Designed by New York based Studio Les Bêtes, the Arctic Drifter is covered with big inflatable bags that turn it into a 50-ft diameter ball that cushions the science lab suspended inside. When they want to stop drifting, the crew simply deflates some of the bags so they form a flat spot where the ball can sit like an igloo.
The lab itself is built inside a gimbal that keeps it upright at all times, while a roll cage surrounding the lab protects it in case of a collision. Power is provided by generators built into the gimbal assembly, while various sensors embedded between the air bags constantly collect many types of data from outside the drifter including video that can be projected inside the lab.
The Arctic Drifter is a currently a concept, but I can certainly see some useful ideas emerging from this project.