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A Software Tool for Analyzing Motions and Loading in Spatial Tensegrity Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Carl A. Nelson

University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

Paper No. DETC2015-46339, pp. V05CT08A027; 5 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5C: 39th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5714-4
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Tensegrity structures are a unique class of mechanisms since they are overconstrained but possess mobility due to member compliance. Visualization of these systems is an important step in their design. This paper presents a simulation tool developed in the MATLAB programming environment for simulation of spatial tensegrity structures. Particularly, it allows visualization of motion (animation) of tensegrity mechanisms, as well as determination of load distributions. A compatibility-based solution approach is used to handle the constraints of loading cables in tension only. The result is a design/analysis tool useful not only for tensegrity mechanisms, but general planar and spatial mechanisms as well. This is illustrated by examples.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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