Wireless Vibrating Tensegrity Robot

- Showcase video for first prototype of wireless vibrating tensegrity robot

- (left to right) Wireless tensegrity strut module in resonance testing apparatus, Assembled 6-bar tensegrity robot (3 active struts)

I designed and developed a wireless vibrating tensegrity robot during my junior and senior years of my undergraduate at Union College as a part of Dr. John Rieffel’s research on evolutionary robotics and morphological communication. The struts were designed to extite the resonant frequencies of the robot.

  • Designed, modeled, fabricated, and tested a wireless vibrating tensegrity strut to complete the world’s first wireless vibrating tensegrity robot, which serves as a reliable and modular test subject for genetic algorithm experiments.
  • Designed for rapid manufacturing (only necessary fabrication processes are: laser cutting, waterjet cutting, and soldering)
  • Developed a resonance model of a single strut to validate the FEA model for the resonant modes of the robot.
  • Designed a custom vibration motor to match the resonant frequency range and maximize amplitude.
  • Implemented onboard IMU and data collection for motion tracking of individual struts during locomotion.

 - Demonstration of entrainment between the oscillations of the motor and the strut. The passive feedback that the strut’s acceleration causes the motor frequency, which has a driving input higher than the natural frequency of the strut, to decrease toward steady-state at the strut’s natural frequency. The resulting resonance causes the exponential increase in amplitude.