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Shape Control of Tensegrity Plates: An Experimental Study

[+] Author Affiliations
Wai Leung Chan, Soren Solari, Robert E. Skelton

University of California at San Diego

Paper No. IMECE2004-60757, pp. 63-68; 6 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Aerospace
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4700-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Tensegrity is a special class of tension-trusses. Strings play an important role in the deployment and shape changing of these structures. A simple class-1 tensegrity unit consists of 3 bars and 9 strings. This unit can be arranged to form a tower or a flat plate. With the integration of sensors and actuators, the tower and plate can be a smart structure. In this paper, we demonstrate the shape changing of a 7-unit tensegrity structure from a flat plate to a parabolic dish by controlling the length of strings in each unit. This provides a feasible structure for a next generation shape changing antenna and space telescope.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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