This web page's content and links are no longer actively maintained. It is available for reference purposes only. NASA Official: Cynthia Cheung

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ANTS: Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm

Tetrahedral Walker Project

Ant Close Up

We have constructed a prototype of the Walking Tetrahedron demonstrated and simulated as shown in the movies to the right. Readily available Electro-Mechanical Components support the Addressable Reconfigurable Design. Each lightweight yet strong strut is attached at two nodes to allow movement over a wide range of angles and can be reversibly wound and unwound at one or both nodes. This design allows change in strut lengths and thus center of mass, allowing the tetrahedron to 'topple' over in alternating directions (sequence on right).

What’s next? We have proposed a modified version of the tetrahedron with a central payload node, the 4Tet, for the ASTEP astrobiology field demonstration program. We are prototyping a 12Tet which, with many more degrees of freedom, is capable of rolling, climbing, and flattening gaits. When many tetrahedra are combined to form a continuous structure, complex structures can be formed, as shown on far right. Simulations of 4, and 12 Tet structures are shown in movies below.


12Tet Rover Beyond the Basics
Walking 4-Tetrahedron
Walking 1-Tetrahedron

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