The Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegritites Lab is researching flexible tensegrity spines for walking robots. Robots with flexible spines have many potential advantages over those with rigid body structures. Motion between a robot’s hips and shoulders could allow for more complex and efficient locomotion for quadrupeds, as well as greater ability to traverse unknown terrain and interact with unknown environments while keeping stable and safe. This project, the Underactuated Lightweight Tensegrity Robotic Assistive Spine (ULTRA Spine), seeks to create such a quadruped backbone.
We have an initial ULTRA Spine prototype that demonstrates motion in the spine:
Our team has also been working on simulations and control systems for the spine, including inverse kinematics for mechanism design and model-predictive control for real-time motion control.
Contact Drew Sabelhaus for more information: apsabelhaus at berkeley dot edu.