Morph: Adaptive Spaceframe


[William Bondin] is working on a rather interesting project, a tetrahedron morphing robot called Morphs (Mobile Reconfigurable Polyhedra). 

It is able to move by the extension of each of its telescopic edges, and as it morphs, the centre of gravity shifts, allowing it to roll over. It is far from an efficient way to move, but it is quite entertaining to watch!

The custom two-directional linear actuators were designed to ensure the weight is symmetrically distributed on each axis, and they were able get the current draw down to about 200mA during actuation, which means with a few strategically placed battery cells, it’ll be able to go wireless too. The prototype unit is controlled by a single Arduino, which sends the commands to each motor-encoder couple.

[William] is hoping to develop it into a full scale architectural prototype, and by 2015 hopes to have these interactive robotic structures rolling around public parks. The architectural end goal is to allow for buildings to respond to environmental inputs, like daylight and temperature.

Confused? Check out the video after the break.

[via Wired]

17 thoughts on “Morph: Adaptive Spaceframe

  1. by 2015 hopes to have these interactive robotic structures rolling around public parks.
    try to present a less useful use for your creations next time

    1. Visually stimulating kinetic “creatures” moving around in parks, where kids can see them, would help encourage careers in STEM. Useful, IMO.

    2. Yes, forget anything unusual or thought provoking. And hey, paint all those awful impressionists and old masters over while you’re at it. All we need is black. /s

      My real concern is who’s going to handle the liability when little Herbert gets his fingers stuck in the drive cogs….

  2. Will actually be useful for transporting stuff in very rough terrain (including other planets). There is no real “flipping over” so the shape can adapt to any surface.

      1. So stick some weights on it. Batteries are the obvious idea. Failing that fill the hollows up with moon-dust. That’s if you wanted to take it to the Moon.

      2. Depends on how big you make it, gravity is 1/6th Earth’s on the moon, so make the bugger 6 times bigger, more mass same weight, should work even better.

    1. We are aware of the NASA project. In fact there is a number of papers about the subject which we reference in our paper here:
      The difference (in terms of funding) is that this build is really low budget….on a student’s budget! Additionally, we are more interested about potential human interaction, rather than space exploration.

    1. Thanks for the reference Douggie!
      I used a particle spring system (Kangaroo) in Grasshopper for the simulations. Also Zheren, a fellow hacking/making enthusiast, developed a model in Unity for animating the structure….It’s always different when you make it for real!

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