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Title: Compact Tensegrity Robots Capable of Locomotion through Mass-shifting
Robustness, compactness, and portability of tensegrity robots make them suitable candidates for locomotion on unknown terrains. Despite these advantages, challenges remain relating to simplicity of fabrication and locomotion. The paper introduces a design solution for fabricating tensegrity robots of varying morphologies with modular components created using rapid prototyping techniques, including 3D printing and laser-cutting. % It explores different robot morphologies that attempt to balance structural complexity while facilitating smooth locomotion. The techniques are utilized to fabricate simple tensegrity structures, followed by tensegrity robots in icosahedron and half-circle arc morphologies. Locomotion strategies for such robots involve altering of the position of center-of-mass to induce `tip-over'. Furthermore, the design of curved links of tensegrity mechanisms facilitates continuous change in the point of contact (along the curve) as compared to piece-wise continuous in the traditional straight links (point contact) which induces impulse reaction forces during locomotion. The resulting two tensegrity robots - six-straight strut icosahedron and two half-circle arc morphology - achieve locomotion through internal mass-shifting utilizing the presented modular mass-shifting mechanism. The curve-link tensegrity robot demonstrates smooth locomotion along with folding-unfolding capability.
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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the ASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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