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Open Source Tensegrity Simulator Released!

[UPDATE: NTRTv1.1 was released on 1/9/15]

I am *very* pleased to announce that the physics based tensegrity simulator we have been developing is now released as the NASA Tensegrity Robotics Toolkit (NTRT), Apache 2 licensed open-source project. It has been a long road to get here, including an 18 month review process by NASA legal. One of the key accomplishments of this beta release is to put together a tool chain which makes it easy to explore the relationship between tensegrity structures and how they move. We accomplish this with the following features:
a) A set of builder tools which make it easy to define novel tensegrity structures
b) The ability to automatically generate neuroscience inspired Central Pattern Generator control networks based on the physical layout of the structure.
c) A set of learning tools that enable the optimization of parameters for that control network for efficient locomotion.

You can see the results of this in the following video where we explore different “snake-like” tensegrity structures and find that each structure has a different locomotion gait. I’m especially interested in the results of the final experiment when we added ribs to the vertebrae and discovered a very natural looking slithering gait.

To find out more about the NTRT simulator, please visit its official release page, or go directly to the Source on GitHub.

And here is another great video of the rolling “SUPERball” Robot moving over a wide range of terrains. We used a lot of machine learning techniques to develop these control capabilities for this robot.

Posted in Robots, Tensegrity.

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