NASA Tensgrity Research

The NASA Superball is really cool, as I have already said several times. Intended as a new concept for space landers (light and compact, extremely rugged, easily scaled from small to large), it could be used on Earth. At least, as long as you aren’t in a hurry.

This month UCSC posted a short video with a summary of the project so far, which has surely delivered as much as promised.

While tensegrity is associated with Buckminster Fuller, and the “Superball” looks (and is) highly engineered, the concepts actually emerged from biological inspirations.

One glance of the Superball in action convinces you that locomotion is not at all obvious. It moves, but how does that work???

The video points out how the team has used computer simulation and machine learning to learn how to make these things move, which I doubt could be done by unaided humans.


The question is, when will I be able to buy one of these?


Robot Wednesday


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