Read here about Tensegriteam, a student design project that produced a robot based on tensegrity.

Overview


University of Idaho Capstone Design Project 2010-2011. The senior design team named Tensegriteam designed and built this 6-bar Tensegrity robot. It is actuated by 12 servo motors mounted on plates at its top and bottom and controlled using a Parallax Propeller Proto board and Matlab interface.

The project idea was developed in cooperation with the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames summer 2010, Vytas Sunspiral leading. David Gardner and Bryce Winterbottom led the project at Iowa, Dave focusing on machine design, and Bryce on the controls. A followup project is underway, to build a tensegrity based robotic snake.

tensegriteam_robotic_6bar_nearly_complete.jpg

Details


The project goal was to produce a robotic manipulator using tensegrity that can serve as a lightweight and compressible option for future robotic arms. A 6 strut tensegrity formed the structure of the robot. The arm has six degrees of freedom; up, down, forward, back, left and right. Together, they enable the 6 strut tensegrity to behave as an arm with great flexibility. The design is modular, so these robots could be fastened together for greater extent and flexibility.

Matlab was used to guide the microcontroller.

Materials List


~description
~dimensions
~McMaster part #
~quantity
~price ea.
base plates
8" x 8" x .25"
9246k11
2
$16.38
round stock for pivot top and bottom, spools, split rod connectors
1.25" dia x 12"
8974k161
4
$8.86
POT holders
90° 2" x 2" x 8'
88805K63
1
$27.82
cubes
.5" x .5" x .5"
6
rods
3/8" x .145" x 8'
1658t43
1
$6.16
shoulder screws
.125" dia. Shoulder 4-40 thread
91829a517
12
$1.16
spring stud connectors
8-32 thread
9634k22
12
$3.04
bearings
standard skateboard bearing
12
pivot mount screws
8-32 x 3/8" comes in pack of 50
91263A522
1
$11.47
servo mount screws
m2-.4 x 12mm
100
$0.04
1/4-28 bolts for load cells
1/4-28
24
braided dacron 50 lb
50 lb .028 dia. 300 yds
1
$14.90
elastic string
12'
1
rotary potentiometers
10 turn
12
$16.63
servos
AX-12
6
$42.00
load cells
50 lb
12
$295.00


Video


Tensegriteam's Tensegrity-based modular robotic arm is presented at Idaho's annual engineering design Expo.



References and Links


http://seniordesign.engr.uidaho.edu/2010-2011/tensegriteam/project_management.html

Portal to Robotics
A series on robotics.
Robots: 6 strut, Biot, Robotics, Morphological Computation, Super Ball Bot
People: Agogino, Behzadipour, Hirai, Shai, Sterk, SunSpiral , Tensegriteam
Organizations: UC Berkeley
Software: Nasa's NTRT