Implementation and Control of a Reconfigurable 8-Tetrahedral Robot
Dr. Miguel Abrahantes, Hope College
An engineering team at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland initiated the development of tetrahedral structures, in order to further advance the capabilities of space exploration vehicles. These structures are made up of tetrahedral cells with extendable and contractible struts. Tetrahedral robots can navigate complex terrain too rough for current exploration vehicles, allowing exploration in regions never traversed. This past summer, our objective was to improve the hardware and software used on the 8-Tetrahedral structure prototyped the previous summer. This included improvements of the communication between multiple digital devices necessary for autonomous control and improvements in the mechanical design of the robot. This 8-Tetrahedral Robot prototype completed a tumbling gait resembling amoebic movement. This physical implementation is fundamental to the advancement of tetrahedral robotics research.
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