Steven Stangle
Union College '14
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
NSF STEM Scholar


Designing a Wireless Tensegrity Robot

Advised by Professor Cherrice Traver (Electrical Engineering) and Professor John Rieffel (Computer Science)

Project Documents: Project Proposal Project Proposal Presentation CS Update Presentation EE Update Presentation Fall Term Report Final Presentation Project Poster Final Report

A tensegrity is a deformable robot made from struts and springs held together in a stable pre-stress form. We are doing research at Union to learn how to make the robot move by vibration. While successful, this research is limited by the current wired design of the robot. For example the current robot VALTR has a tether that tangles and has to be reset if it turns too much or moves too much. My research was to design and construct a new, wireless tensegrity robot controlled by a spiking neural network. This new robot allows us to conduct research without the inhibition of the tether. With it we can better control the frequencies of the vibrations by using an inertial measurement unit and motor encoders as inputs into a spiking neural network. This new robot will further allow us to continue research in using tensegrities to get a better understanding of how complex living systems move.

Project Goals and Constraints

This is a picture of the final layout of the project on a breadboard. The project is a fully functioning wireless strut.A diagram of the system level overview of the project.
The current tensegrity robot that this project aims to replaceThis is the current wired setup that caues tangles.
The arduino micro, the processor that is going to be used for this project.The bluetooth module which will allow wireless communication with the strut.