BEST (Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities) Robotics
|Kyunam Kim,Yangxin Chen,Yuejia (Margaret) Liu and Justino Calangi
with Professor Alice Agogino at Fung Institute poster session, December 2013.
|Team at NASA Ames conducting research and preparing
for the Discovery Channel filming.
Research with Vytas SunSpiral and Adrian Agogino from the Intelligent Systems Division of the NASA Ames Research Center on a revolutionary soft robotics concept that integrates biomimetics and tensegrity structures. Tensegrity robots are composed of purely tensile and compressive components (cables and rods). We are exploring co-robot applications (where humans and robots work as partners) since they are unlikely to harm their environment or human users. The application areas we are pursuing include space exploration, home health care and search & rescue.
UC Berkeley doctoral students working on the tensegrity robotic research are: Andrew (Drew) Sabelhaus and Kyunam Kim. Deaho Moon is a volunteer researcher who received his B.S. at UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering. We are joined this year by a team of Masters students (Jasmine Gipson, Patrick Bailey Hylton, Peadar Keegan, Azharuddin Khaderi, Xiang Li, Alexander Lim, Yakshu Madaan, Chan Woo Yang) and undergraduate researchers. Hugh Wagoner is a visiting student from France working on our Open Innovation business model.
The simulated images (above) and animation (below left) are for the Super Ball Bots application envisioned for space applications where they could deployed and bounce to a landing before moving and exploring the surface. The image above right is of the UC Berkeley BEST Lab rapid prototyping tensegrity robot using linear actuators.
See video of NASA collaborators Adrian Agogino and Vytas SunSpiral explain the structural advantages of tensegrity robots in this article and video (below, right): NASA's Squishable 'Super Ball Bot' Could Explore Titan, IEEE Spectrum, December 2013.
Also see Kyunam Kim's simulation of the Super Bot robot using a lumped mass model of six struts.
See our recent development in the locomotion of rapidly prototyped six-strut tensegrity robot.
Related News and Videos
Tensegrity Robotics Project and ME110 (New Product Development) 2013 Projects Featured in Wired Magazine. NASA’s Latest Robot: A Rolling Tangle of Rods That Can Take a Beating, Wired Magazine, Feb. 26, 2014 (also Wired UK, Nasa's new space robot moves like tumbleweed, Feb. 27, 2014).
- "Super Ball Bot - A Robot Launched by NASA!", Techbuzzer.com, 19 Feb. 2013
- "NASA's Crazy Robotics Lab", BBC News, 3 Feb. 2013
- "A Super Ball Bot for Titan: A Baby Step To Learning About Saturn’s Unique Moon", Astrobiology Magazine, October 10, 2013
- NASA's Squishable 'Super Ball Bot' Could Explore Titan, IEEE Spectrum, December 2013
- NASA's Super Ball Bot Will Be Exploring The Surface Of TItan, December 2013
- YouTube video: This Jumble of Tent Poles Could Be NASA's Next Titan-exploring Robot, December 2013 (went viral, with over 220,000 views and counting)
- NASA's next robot rover squishes like a child's toy: Super Ball Bot benefits from a bouncy design, theVerge, December 27, 2013.
- NASA 'Super Ball Bot' Can Survive 60-Mile Drop Onto Alien World Without Landing Equipment, International Business Times, December 29, 2013.
- NASA's Bouncy Super Ball Bots May be Planetary Rovers of the Future [VIDEO], Nature World News, December 30, 2013.
- NASA's Next Rover May Be This Crazy Walking Sphere, The Atlantic, December 30, 2013.
- NASA Super Ball Bot Would Crash Land... On Purpose: The collapsible, flexible rover can be dropped onto an alien surface from 60 miles away, Robotics Trends, January 2, 2014.
BEST Lab collaborators Adrian Agogino and Vytas SunSpiral from the Intelligent Systems Division of the NASA Ames Research Center were recently interviewed by IEEE Spectrum. The article (NASA's Squishable 'Super Ball Bot' Could Explore Titan) and YouTube video were released on December 23, 2013. Since then the article has been propogated world-wide and the video has gone viral with over 300,000 views and still counting. Google has tracked over 60 articles on this story as well. This video is a mash-up by slate video that starts with an old film of the original super ball. More on this project and our collaboration at BEST (Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities).
- Rapid Prototyping Design anc Control of Tensegirty Soft Robot for Locomotion (video of experiments), July 2014.
- Andrew P. Sabelhaus, Jonathan Bruce, Ken Caluwaerts, Pavlo Manovi, Roya Fallah Firoozi, Sarah Dobi, Alice M. Agogino, Vytas SunSpiral. System Design and Locomotion of SUPERball, and Autonomous Tensegrity Robot. Submitted to the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2015.
- Jonathan Bruce, Ken Caluwaerts, Atil Iscen, Andrew P. Sabelhaus, and Vytas SunSpiral. Design and Evolution of a Modular Tensegrity Robot Platform. International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2014.
Jonathan Bruce, Andrew P. Sabelhaus, Ken Caluwaerts, Alice M. Agogino, Vytas SunSpiral. SUPERball: Exploring Tensegrities for Planetary Probes. 12th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS). June 2014.
- Andrew P. Sabelhaus, Ken Caluwaerts, Jonathan Bruce, Alice M. Agogino, Vytas SunSpiral. SUPERball: Modular Hardware for a Mobile Tensegrity Robot. 6th World Conference on Structural Control and Monitoring (6WCSCM), Special Session on Tensegrity Syystems. June 2014.
- Super Ball Bot - Structures for Planetary Landing and Exploration with Report and Presentation.
- "Presentation on Tensegrity Robots for Planetary Exploration," NASA Ames, March 21, 2013.