Tensegrity robots: He hopes to develop a robot that might navigate any landscape
Before a signal even reaches your brain, your fingers can adjust the tension required to lift an object with their tendons. It’s a mechanism (fingers) acting as a mind – a phenomenon called morphological computation that John Rieffel, assistant professor of computer science, is exploring with tensegrity robots.
Made with only springs and rods, a tensegrity’s shape is maintained through the balance of pushing forces (rods) and pulling forces (springs).
In Rieffel’s lab, a tensegrity becomes a robot with the addition of small, vibrational motors, which cause the structure, designed by William Keat, associate professor of mechanical engineering, to resonate chaotically.
Depending on the voltage used, this resonance can move the robot forward, sideways, in circles. While it’s difficult to predict which voltage will do what, artificial intelligence techniques are helping Rieffel discover effective motions.
“The significant result is that we’ve made this robot move at all,” he said. “As far as we know, it’s the smallest, fastest tensegrity robot out there, and the only one that moves by vibrating.”
Typical, non-tensegrity robots move deliberately and are built rigidly to house the large, heavy computers that control them. As a result, their weight often limits versatility.
Rieffel’s creation would not be encumbered by such things.
Using just small motors and specific voltages, he hopes to develop a robot that might navigate any landscape. Its light-weight body could respond to obstacles or objects much like your fingers. Rieffel’s tensegrity, still in early research stages, theoretically wouldn’t rely so heavily on computers (minds) to tell it when and how to move.
“By outsourcing aspects of control and locomotion to a robot’s body, we can use a robot’s computational resources to perform more high-level tasks, like tracking objects or detecting survivors trapped in rubble,” he said.
The Latest on: Tensegrity robots
via Google News
The Latest on: Tensegrity robots
- Squishy robots give responders remote insightson October 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm
The robots are virtually immune to being tossed around because they are tensegrity structures, meaning that none of the rods they’re made of touch one another. That creates a tension that allows the ...
- Mabu the Pint-Sized Robot Wants to Manage Your Healthon September 26, 2019 at 5:07 am
But I have to admit, once I walk in with a Mabu and let the robot do the talking, no one pays much attention to me. Finally, Vytas Sunspiral, Principal Investigator of the Dynamic Tensegrity Robotics ...
- This Weird Tumbleweed Robot Might Change Planetary Explorationon August 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Wireless communications systems in the robots will allow users to control the droids remotely. The robot is a "tensegrity structure," or "tensegrity" for short — a structure that combines elements ...
- The Squishy Robots That Could Save the Worldon May 13, 2019 at 5:19 am
“Technically, it means all forces are axial,” says Agogino, adding that impacts would be translated to structural compression rather than causing twisting or breakage: “That’s what makes the robots ...
- The Squishy Robots That Could Save the Worldon May 13, 2019 at 5:16 am
Buckminster Fuller. One of his most lasting contributions to design was the concept of tensegrity, a portmanteau of tensional integrity. The squishy robot falling to Earth. Tensegrity structures are ...
- John Rieffelon May 10, 2019 at 10:35 pm
(pdf) Khazanov, M., Jocque, J., and Rieffel, J (2014) "Developing Morphological Computation in Tensegrity Robots for Controllable Actuation", Student Workshop at the 2013 Genetic and Evolutionary ...
- Squishy Robots Can Land Safely from Helicopteron April 25, 2019 at 7:33 am
They can also work as co-robots with their human partners on the ground when they arrive on the scene." The team of inventors started designing these "tensegrity" robots—which combine the forces of ...
- Squishy robots roll into action after 600-foot fallon April 24, 2019 at 4:14 pm
They can also work as co-robots with their human partners on the ground when they arrive on the scene.” The team of inventors started designing these “tensegrity” robots—which combine the forces of ...
- Squishy robots can drop from a helicopter and land safelyon April 24, 2019 at 10:31 am
They can also work as co-robots with their human partners on the ground when they arrive on the scene.” The team of inventors started designing these “tensegrity” robots — which combine the forces of ...
- How Squishy Robotics created a robot that can be safely dropped out of a helicopteron April 18, 2019 at 1:54 pm
But there are in fact children’s toys with tensegrity-type designs.) Inside the bars are wires that can be pulled or slackened to cause to move the various points of contact with the ground, changing ...
via Bing News