System design and locomotion of SUPERball, an untethered tensegrity robot

  title={System design and locomotion of SUPERball, an untethered tensegrity robot},
  author={Andrew P. Sabelhaus and Jonathan Bruce and Ken Caluwaerts and Pavlo Manovi and Roya Firoozi and Sarah Dobi and Alice M. Agogino and Vytas SunSpiral},
  journal={2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
The Spherical Underactuated Planetary Exploration Robot ball (SUPERball) is an ongoing project within NASA Ames Research Center's Intelligent Robotics Group and the Dynamic Tensegrity Robotics Lab (DTRL). The current SUPERball is the first full prototype of this tensegrity robot platform, eventually destined for space exploration missions. This work, building on prior published discussions of individual components, presents the fully-constructed robot. Various design improvements are discussed… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Design and Simulation of Compliant Tensegrity Robots for Planetary Exploration
The Dynamic Tensegrity Robotics Lab (DTRL) at the NASA Ames Research center is actively researching the design, control, and locomotion of tensegrity robots for planetary exploration. The advantage
Design of SUPERball v2, a Compliant Tensegrity Robot for Absorbing Large Impacts
The system design and initial testing of SUPERball v2, a completely re-designed 2-meter spherical six-bar tensegrity robot designed to survive high-speed landings as well as locomote to desired locations, are presented.
Design of a spherical tensegrity robot for dynamic locomotion
A simulation study of T12-R shows that the robot is capable of performing static locomotion and control strategies for achieving dynamic locomotion in hardware are discussed.
Design and Control of a Tensegrity-Based Robotic Joint
A robotic joint based on a two-stage tensegrity structure using a marching procedure to find new stable positions, the control method calculates the required steps and actuates some of the cables until this new position is achieved.
This work shows the interaction of new software packages and state-of-the-art planning algorithms in control and planning for tensegrity-based robots.
On the Locomotion of Spherical Tensegrity Robots
This dissertation studies novel robotic systems based on tensegrity structures, with an emphasis on their locomotion capabilities. Naturally compliant tensegrity structures have several unique
Motion simulation of six-bar tensegrity robot based on Adams
  • A. Luo, Hao Xin, W. Tian
  • Engineering, Computer Science
    2016 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation
  • 2016
It is proved that the application possibility of tensegrity theory used in the field of robot is proved and the mathematics model of tense grity robot is obtained.
The driving of the six-bar tensegrity robot
Six-bar tensegrity structure has the advantages of low weight, simple driving and strong bearing capacity and is established in Adams software, and can be driven by controlling the length of two bars in contact with the ground.
State estimation for tensegrity robots
This paper designs and evaluates a state estimator for tensegrity robots based on the unscented Kalman filter (UKF) and combines inertial measurements, ultra wideband time-of-flight ranging measurements, and actuator state information to enable existing and future control algorithms to transfer from simulation to hardware.


SUPERball : Exploring Tensegrities for Planetary Probes
In this work, multiple issues with the current SUPERball design are addressed, when considering an example mission to Titan, and concepts for a fully-actuated redesign of SUPERball are generated, compared, and validated against current engineering requirements.
Hardware Design and Testing of SUPERball, A Modular Tensegrity Robot
Tensegrity robots are inherently compliant, like biological structures, and globally distribute forces within the structure. Thus tensegrity robots are well suited for physical interactions with
Design and evolution of a modular tensegrity robot platform
The design and evolution of the platform's main hardware component is presented, an untethered, robust tensegrity strut, with rich sensor feedback and cable actuation, to enable a wide range of tense grity morphologies.
Control and simulation of a tensegrity-based mobile robot
Rapid prototyping design and control of tensegrity soft robot for locomotion
  • Kyunam Kim, A. Agogino, A. Agogino
  • Materials Science, Computer Science
    2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO 2014)
  • 2014
The software and hardware of this robot can be extended to build a wide range of tensegrity robotic configurations and control strategies, and will greatly lower the barrier-of-entry in time and cost for research groups studying tenseGrity robots suitable for co-robot applications.
DuCTT: A tensegrity robot for exploring duct systems
This work presents a tensegrity robot with two linked tetrahedral frames, each containing a linear actuator, connected by a system of eight actuated cables, and introduces the physical prototype, called DuCTT (Duct Climbing Tetrahedral Tensegrity).
Design and control of tensegrity robots for locomotion
The results demonstrate that tensegrity structures can provide the basis for lightweight, strong, and fault-tolerant robots with a potential for a variety of locomotor gaits.
A Three-DoF Actuated Robot
This article presents the realization of a tensegrity-based robot composed of a three-bar symmetric prismlike minimal tensegrity configuration. Statics and kinematics are studied presenting the
Vibration-driven mobile robots based on single actuated tensegrity structures
This paper describes a new concept for locomotion of mobile robots based on single actuated tensegrity structures based on two vibration-driven locomotion systems that can be kept simple by using single-actuation.
Tetraspine: Robust terrain handling on a tensegrity robot using central pattern generators
Distributed impedance controllers coupled with central pattern generators (CPGs) generate tunable motion in the structure, making this the first mobile terrestrial tensegrity robot controlled by CPGs to the authors' knowledge.