Antonia Bronars Rose Hills
Actuating a Spherical Tensegrity Robot using Momentum Wheels
Traditional robots are often ineffective in environments with rough and uncharted terrain. For this reason, robots are underutilized for applications like disaster relief, HazMat, CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) response, and space exploration. The Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrity (BEST) Lab is developing a tensegrity soft robot, designed to travel over rough terrain after surviving large impacts. The BEST lab robot would be deployed by aerial vehicle, then traverse the unknown area, sending back sensor data and arming first responders with previously inaccessible information. The existing robot moves via shape shifting, and can either sustain a 200m drop or move – not both. I propose a locomotion scheme using momentum wheels instead of shape shifting to address this gap in functionality. My goal is to develop a prototype capable of locomotion after sustaining a 10m drop by the end of summer. My prototype would address this problem, and mark a substantial step toward creating a self-contained robot for disaster relief and space exploration. It would also be the first tensegrity actuated using momentum wheels.