Quoted 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). In addition to the research collaboration with NASA Ames, the article refers to our tensegrity ME110 projects in Spring 2013. Members of the Tensegrity Protection team were Andrew Deng, Grant Paulson, Jon Saltz and Anton Savinov. Members of the Tensegrity Health Care team were Seth Macfarland, Stanley Liu, Adrew Kim, John Wilcox and Josh Stroud. The graduate student mentor was Andrew (Drew) Sabelhaus. See more on the Tensegrity Robotics project website. Also news on the Tensegrity Robotics viral video and members of the graduate MEng Fung Leadership team.
Excerpt: It’s fun to think about how this concept could be applied outside the realm of space exploration. Drawing on natural systems that adjust and adapt to environments is fascinating, and one that’s already being explored in fields like architecture and art. While teaching a class at UC Berkeley, collaborator Alice Agogino asked students to come up with 50 potential applications for tensegrity robots and to rank them according to how useful they might one day be.
“The two highest fits were in home health care and the military,” he says. “Two extreme applications.” The point being, by its very nature a tensegrity robot is able to be both sturdy and resilient while still being gentle enough to interact with sick people. “This is really at the heart of what we’re getting at,” says SunSpiral. “Using a system that’s much more adaptable to its environment.”