A Caltech Library Service

Rolling Locomotion of Cable-Driven Soft Spherical Tensegrity Robots

Kim, Kyunam and Agogino, Adrian K. and Agogino, Alice M. (2020) Rolling Locomotion of Cable-Driven Soft Spherical Tensegrity Robots. Soft Robotics, 7 (3). pp. 346-361. ISSN 2169-5172. PMCID PMC7301328.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Soft spherical tensegrity robots are novel steerable mobile robotic platforms that are compliant, lightweight, and robust. The geometry of these robots is suitable for rolling locomotion, and they achieve this motion by properly deforming their structures using carefully chosen actuation strategies. The objective of this work is to consolidate and add to our research to date on methods for realizing rolling locomotion of spherical tensegrity robots. To predict the deformation of tensegrity structures when their member forces are varied, we introduce a modified version of the dynamic relaxation technique and apply it to our tensegrity robots. In addition, we present two techniques to find desirable deformations and actuation strategies that would result in robust rolling locomotion of the robots. The first one relies on the greedy search that can quickly find solutions, and the second one uses a multigeneration Monte Carlo method that can find suboptimal solutions with a higher quality. The methods are illustrated and validated both in simulation and with our hardware robots, which show that our methods are viable means of realizing robust and steerable rolling locomotion of spherical tensegrity robots.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Kim, Kyunam0000-0002-7803-1582
Additional Information:© 2020 Kyunam Kim et al.; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Published in Volume: 7 Issue 3: June 2, 2020. Online Ahead of Print: February 7, 2020. The authors are grateful for funding support from NASA's Early Stage Innovation grant NNX15AD74G. The first author was supported, in part, by Samsung Scholarship from the Samsung Foundation of Culture and UARC STI Graduate Student Summer Internship. No competing financial interests exist.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Samsung FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Army Research LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:tensegrity robots, dynamic relaxation, greedy search, multigeneration Monte Carlo
Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC7301328
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200218-144313638
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Rolling Locomotion of Cable-Driven Soft Spherical Tensegrity Robots. Kyunam Kim, Adrian K. Agogino, and Alice M. Agogino. Soft Robotics. Jun 2020. 346-361;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101334
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Feb 2020 22:51
Last Modified:23 Jun 2020 14:47

Repository Staff Only: item control page