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Nonlinear Systems Control-HOPE STUDENTS ONLY

Project Full Title:

Modeling and Gait Design for the Tetrahedral Walker Robotics Technology - HOPE STUDENTS ONLY

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Project Description:

This project is in collaboration with the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Engineers at Goddard are designing a more ambitious rover. It does not have wheels. Instead, it looks like a shape-changing jungle gym, with trusses that lengthen and shorten. It is a complicated type of movement to explain, and is best demonstrated in video ( This robotic structure is composed of self-similar parts, struts, and nodes, allowing the robots to be assembled in the field into a variety of tetrahedral configurations. The Goddard team is investigating different approaches for the locomotion control of this structure. Our team at Hope College is assisting the NASA group with the design of control strategies for autonomous gaits or ways to "walk". This design involves the chorographic shape-changing movement of the structure. Since the structure is over constrained, the control needs a precise geometrical definition of the shape-changing movement. Students will work to obtain this geometrical description of the structure to be used as a reference for the control strategy. It will start from a simple one tetrahedral robot and build up the number of tetrahedral to 12. The control strategies will be implemented using a simulating robot model based on Matlab/Simulink/SimMechanics software.

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