+ TENSEGRITY SPHEROID FOR NASA + ARDUINO, 3D PRINTING, AND TESENGRITY STRUCTURE
Prompt: Design a tensegrity structure using rods and an Arduino to introduce movement. The tensegrity structure should withstand a five foot fall. The physical model should behave and designed in a way that allows it to move across a rocky terrain.
The video shows the spheroid tensegrity structure rolling, which uses an arduino kit and joystick to control the direction of the pull. The red joints are custom 3D printed to fit the design of the tensegrity structure, which you can see the details of those joints below.
Tensegrity structures are complex forms comprised of both compression and tension members, which creates the issue of active control tensegrity much more complex. When controlling a tensegrity model in order to make it active there are many factors to consider: the different nodes of actuation, the time to control each node, and the desired outcome behavior. Before I started with the actuation I was thinking of the behavior that I wanted and was fascinated by making a tensegrity model roll in a linear direction. I designed a tensegrity structure that is hybrid system comprised of two half sphere with a central planar component. The method of constructing the tensegrity sphere was to first experiment with different iterations of physical models, investigate a series of typologies, construct a digital model and simulate it to behave in a certain way and then eventually go back to the physical model and construct it again with the right components. After many experimentations and iterations, I found that when compressing two cables that are diagonal from each other it rolls onto another face. Another factor to consider were the different joints and designing each one of them to help with the behavior. One of the joints that were designed was a three way flexible joint to be able to take a certain shape when it’s being compressed. The design of the spheroid allows it to be adaptable in terms of future applications in space. The way the spheroid functions is through continuous rolling in a straight line, which can be used to replace tires or can be multiplied as a module to create a longer rolling form.