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
- NASA’s experimental tensegrity ball robot could be the future of rover designon December 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm
The tensegrity ball looks like a jumble of tent poles, but it could be the framework for future rovers. Despite being simple machines, there is a lot that can go wrong with wheels. They can get ...
- Design and Manufacturing of Tendon-Driven Soft Foam Robotson May 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm
To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure [email protected] is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and ...
- Squishy Robots Can Drop From Helicopter and Land Safelyon April 26, 2019 at 6:27 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 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 ...
- How Squishy Robotics created a robot that can be safely dropped out of a helicopteron April 17, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Robots are well-suited to this type of reconnaissance ... It’s all because of the unique “tensegrity structure,” which looks like a game of pick-up-sticks crossed with cat’s cradle.
- New motion capture system to give research a major boost at Unionon January 17, 2019 at 4:00 am
Faculty and students are being trained on how to incorporate the technology in their research. Using a student-designed tensegrity robot fitted with reflective markers, Rieffel recently gave a short ...
- Spherical robot with 32 legs could be used to explore planets or in disaster response missionson October 11, 2018 at 9:28 am
Scientists have built an amoeba-like robot with 32 individually controlled legs in a bid to find the perfect combination of stability and control. The theory for the unusual robot comes from ...
- Yale researchers develop 'robotic skins' that bring objects to lifeon September 29, 2018 at 3:16 pm
A group of researchers at Yale University has developed “robotic skins” that can turn any inanimate object into a robot, the school announced. Led by Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, assistant ...
- Universal Robots at Autodesk for human-robot collaboration in constructionon July 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm
At each station, attendees fastened three random pieces of bamboo onto a Universal Robot that moved to hook fiber on the bamboo tips to create a unique, tumbleweed-looking tensegrity elements. The UR ...
via Bing News