IROS 2015 Paper Abstract


Paper ThCT15.1

Mirletz, Brian T. (Case Western Reserve University), Park, In-Won (NASA Ames Research Center), Quinn, Roger, D. (Case Western Reserve University), SunSpiral, Vytas (SGT Inc. / NASA Ames Research Center)

Towards Bridging the Reality Gap between Tensegrity Simulation and Robotic Hardware

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular session "Animation and Simulation" (ThCT15), Thursday, October 1, 2015, 11:20−11:35, Saal A4

2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Sept 28 - Oct 03, 2015, Congress Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 19, 2019

Keywords Animation and Simulation, Biomimetics, Compliance and Impedance Control


Using a new hardware implementation of our designs for tunably compliant spine-like tensegrity robots, we show that the NASA Tensegrity Robotics Toolkit can effectively generate and predict desirable locomotion strategies for these many degree of freedom systems. Tensegrity, which provides structural integrity through a tension network, shows promise as a design strategy for more compliant robots capable of interaction with rugged environments, such as a tensegrity inter-planetary probe prototype surviving multi-story drops. Due to the complexity of tensegrity structures, modeling through physics simulation and machine learning improves our ability to design and evaluate new structures and their controllers in a dynamic environment. The kinematics of our simulator, the open source NASA Tensegrity Robotics Toolkit, have been previously validated within 1.3% error on position through motion capture of the six strut robot ReCTeR. This paper provides additional validation of the dynamics through the direct comparison of the simulator to forces experienced by the latest version of the Tetraspine robot. These results give us confidence in our strategy of using tensegrity to impart future robotic systems with properties similar to biological systems such as increased flexibility, power, and mobility in extreme terrains.



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