Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanisms as minds: Creating a tensegrity robot that can move

Date:
May 13, 2014
Source:
Union College
Summary:
Before a signal even reaches your brain, your fingers can adjust the tension required to lift an object with their tendons. It's a mechanism (fingers) acting as a mind -- a phenomenon called morphological computation that scientists are exploring with tensegrity robots.

Before a signal even reaches your brain, your fingers can adjust the tension required to lift an object with their tendons. It's a mechanism (fingers) acting as a mind -- a phenomenon called morphological computation that John Rieffel, assistant professor of computer science, is exploring with tensegrity robots.

Related Articles


Made with only springs and rods, a tensegrity's shape is maintained through the balance of pushing forces (rods) and pulling forces (springs).

In Rieffel's lab, a tensegrity becomes a robot with the addition of small, vibrational motors, which cause the structure, designed by William Keat, associate professor of mechanical engineering, to resonate chaotically.

Depending on the voltage used, this resonance can move the robot forward, sideways, in circles. While it's difficult to predict which voltage will do what, artificial intelligence techniques are helping Rieffel discover effective motions.

"The significant result is that we've made this robot move at all," he said. "As far as we know, it's the smallest, fastest tensegrity robot out there, and the only one that moves by vibrating."

Typical, non-tensegrity robots move deliberately and are built rigidly to house the large, heavy computers that control them. As a result, their weight often limits versatility.

Rieffel's creation would not be encumbered by such things.

Using just small motors and specific voltages, he hopes to develop a robot that might navigate any landscape. Its light-weight body could respond to obstacles or objects much like your fingers. Rieffel's tensegrity, still in early research stages, theoretically wouldn't rely so heavily on computers (minds) to tell it when and how to move.

"By outsourcing aspects of control and locomotion to a robot's body, we can use a robot's computational resources to perform more high-level tasks, like tracking objects or detecting survivors trapped in rubble," he said.

The team's paper was accepted for publication and presentation at the European Conference on Artificial Life, held this September in Italy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Union College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Union College. "Mechanisms as minds: Creating a tensegrity robot that can move." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513091113.htm>.
Union College. (2014, May 13). Mechanisms as minds: Creating a tensegrity robot that can move. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513091113.htm
Union College. "Mechanisms as minds: Creating a tensegrity robot that can move." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513091113.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

PlayStation Now Smart TV App

PlayStation Now Smart TV App

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) PlayStation Now Smart TV app is coming soon and will be available on both Sony and Samsung HDTV, allowing you to play games without even a counsel! Check out the video for more info. Credit to &apos;booredatwork&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
WikiLeaks Accuses Google of Handing Over Emails to US

WikiLeaks Accuses Google of Handing Over Emails to US

AFP (Jan. 27, 2015) Whistleblowing site WikiLeaks accused Google of handing over the emails and electronic data of its senior staff to the US authorities without providing notification until almost three years later. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cablevision Enters Wi-Fi Phone Fray

Cablevision Enters Wi-Fi Phone Fray

Reuters - Business Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) The entry by Cablevision and Google could intensify the already heated price wars for mobile phone service. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins