Dynamics and Control of a Planar Tensegrity Robot Arm
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Tensegrity structures have been used in the field of engineering and architecture over the last half century to build static load-bearing structures. These structures are built out of a network of rigid bars and elastic strings which are connected to each other at their ends. The primary advantage of these structures is that the elements are under axial loading only which dramatically reduces their minimal mass. Recently tensegrity structures have gained interest in the Space community which is in need of lightweight robot designs for planetary exploration and spacecraft maintenance. This research work aims to address some of the challenges in tensegrity research. Firstly, this work presents minimal mass design of a planar tensegrity robot arm and compares with a conventional design. Then the robot’s dynamics is formulated using Lagrange’s method. Finally, optimal control theory is utilized to solve two control problems - stabilization in the presence of disturbance and noise and robust tracking of a desirable trajectory.
Biswas, Aritra (2017). Dynamics and Control of a Planar Tensegrity Robot Arm. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from