Arch + Eng, Design, Sci + Tech

New NASA video: tensegrity robots designed for space exploration

NASA recently released a video of the Super Ball robot in movement. The robot was designed using Buckminster Fuller’s principles for tensegrity structures. The lightweight, foldable robots are built of a network of tensioned cables and strong rods, and can roll over rough terrain.

The robots can be manipulated in landscapes full of obstacles, and are intended for deployment in challenging landscapes, such as Saturn’s moons.

The Super Ball was designed in the Dynamic Tensegrity Robotics Lab at NASA Ames Research Center, and received a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts award.

For further details, check out coverage by Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo Australia, and KQED Science.

In a spin-off, Jeffrey Friesen’s DuCTT (Dual Compliant Tetrahedral Tensegrity) Robot is designed similarly, and is meant for navigation of complex duct systems to allow for autonomous inspection and cleaning.