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]


  1. ss says:

    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

  2. ameyring says:

    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.

  3. tet says:

    NASA had a similar project years ago that has since been defunded. Info here:
    The overconstrained nature of more complex configurations makes all but the most simplistic of his ideas likely to appear by 2015

  4. dtb says:
  5. Douggie says:
    • William says:

      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!

  6. Eirinn says:

    Video seems to have no sound?

  7. MarkS says:

    Threaded rod – worm drive – cheaper ??

  8. FuzzyfuzzyFungus says:

    This thing looks eerily like a physical instantiation of one of the designs that the ‘Golem’ software tended to evolve over time.

    Anybody else play with that back in the day?

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