Biological locomotion displays a high degree of fault tolerance to physical damage. However, robotic locomotion does not share the same characteristic, and is in contrast highly sensitive to mechanical damage. One reason for this difference lies in the mechanical design and control philosophy of modern robots, which is usually based on the idea of a single actuator controlling a single degree of freedom. In contrast, this paper seeks to explore a new paradigm in the design of locomotor robots based on the concept of tensegrity, which enables the development of highly redundant mechanical structures. Actuation of such a structure at one location affects multiple degrees of freedom, and can thus enable a high degree of fault tolerant control. The goal of this work was to investigate the possibility for locomotion in tensegrity based robots, and evaluate the ability for fault tolerant locomotion. The results show that tensegrity robots can provide a suitable platform for locomotion, and show a considerable degree of fault tolerance.
Rieffel, J, Valero-Cuevas, F., Lipson, H., (2009) "Automated discovery and optimization of large irregular tensegrity structures", Computers and Structures, Vol. 87, pp. 368-379.
Rieffel, J., Stuk, R., Valero Cuevas F., Lipson, H. (2007) “Locomotion of a Tensegrity Robot via Dynamically Coupled Modules”. Proceedings of the International Conference on Morphological Computation, Venice Italy, March 2007.
Paul C., Valero Cuevas F. J. Lipson H. (2006) "Design and Control of Tensegrity Robots", IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 22 No. 5 pp. 944- 957
Paul C., Lipson H., Valero Cuevas F. J. (2005) , "Gait Production in a Tensegrity Based Robot" Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR), Seattle, Washington, USA, July 18th-20th, pp 216-222.
Paul C., Lipson H., Valero Cuevas F. J. (2005) , "Design of Tensegrity Robots for Fault Tolerant Locomotion" Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR), Seattle, Washington, USA, July 18th-20th, to appear.
Paul C., Lipson H., Valero Cuevas F. J. (2005) ,"Evolutionary Form-Finding of Tensegrity Structures" Proceedings of the 2005 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, June 2005, Washington D.C., USA
In collaboration with The neuromuscular biomechanics laboratory