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1. US20200061810 - MODULAR ROD-CENTERED, DISTRIBUTED ACTUATION AND CONTROL ARCHITECTURE FOR SPHERICAL TENSEGRITY ROBOTS

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. A tensegrity robot, comprising:
a plurality of compressive members; and
a plurality of tensile members connected to said plurality of compressive members to form a spatially defined structure without said plurality of compressive members forming direct load-transmitting connections with each other, wherein each compressive member has an axial extension with a first axial end and a second axial end and a central axial region between said first axial end and said second axial end;
a plurality of actuators, each attached to one of said plurality of compressive members within a corresponding central axial region thereof; and
a plurality of controllers, each attached to one of said plurality of compressive members within a corresponding central axial region thereof,
wherein each actuator of said plurality of actuators is operatively connected to a corresponding one of said plurality of tensile members so as to selectively change a tension on said corresponding one of said plurality of tensile members in response to commands from a corresponding one of said plurality of controllers to thereby change a center of mass of said tensegrity robot to effect movement thereof.
2. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein said plurality of controllers are configured to communicate with each other to provide distributed control of said tensegrity robot.
3. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of actuators comprises a motor driven spool to wind up and release portions of a corresponding one of said plurality of tensile members.
4. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein each of said plurality of actuators comprises a motor driven spool to wind up and release portions of a corresponding one of said plurality of tensile members.
5. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein said plurality of actuators are four actuators attached to each of said plurality of compressive members.
6. The tensegrity robot of claim 5, wherein said plurality of compressive members are six compressive members, and
wherein said plurality of tensile members are twenty four tensile members in which four tensile members are controlled by a corresponding one of four actuators attached to each of said six compressive members.
7. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of tensile members comprises a wire and a spring in mechanical connection with the wire.
8. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein a portion of each of the plurality of tensile members is disposed within the axial extension of one of the plurality of compressive members.
9. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein a portion of each of the plurality of tensile members is disposed within the axial extension of one of the plurality of compressive members.
10. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, wherein each compressive member forms a first lumen in the axial extension between the first axial end and the central axial region, and a second lumen in the axial extension between the second axial end and the central axial region, and
wherein a portion of at least one of the plurality of tensile members is disposed within the first lumen and at least a portion of another of the plurality of tensile members is disposed within the second lumen.
11. The tensegrity robot according to claim 10, wherein a portion of at least two tensile members is disposed within each of the first and second lumen.
12. The tensegrity robot of claim 1, where each tensile member has a first end and a second end,
wherein the first end is operatively connected one of said plurality of actuators, said one of said a plurality of actuators attached to a first one of said plurality of compressive members, and
wherein the second end is operatively connected to a second one of said plurality of a compressive members.
13. The tensegrity robot according to claim 12, wherein the second end is operatively connected to one of said first axial end and said second axial end of said second one of said plurality of a compressive members.
14. An actuation module for a tensegrity robot, the tensegrity robot comprising a plurality of compressive members and a plurality of tensile members connected to said plurality of compressive members, the actuation module comprising:
a base;
a plurality of actuators in mechanical connection with the base, each of the plurality of actuators configured to be operatively connected to one of said plurality of tensile members; and
a controller in mechanical connection with the base and in communication with the plurality of actuators,
wherein the controller is configured to command one of said plurality of actuators to selectively change a tension on a corresponding one of said plurality of tensile members to thereby change a center of mass of said tensegrity robot to effect movement thereof.
15. The actuation module of claim 14, wherein at least one of said plurality of actuators is disposed on an upper surface of said base, and wherein at least one of said plurality of actuators is disposed on a lower surface of said base.
16. The actuation module of claim 14, wherein each of the plurality of actuators comprises a motor driver in communication with the controller, and a motorized spool in communication with the motor driver.
17. The actuation module of claim 14, further comprising a wireless receiver mechanically connected to the base and in communication with controller.