The aim of the project is the investigation of intrinsically compliant tensegrity structures based on highly elastic materials with pronounced variable stiffness and deformation capability for the application in the field of soft material robotic systems. The consideration of special compliant materials with an energy-less (passively) adaptive dynamic behavior, applied to the tensegrity structures, is an essential part of the investigations.
The central hypothesis is: intrinsically compliant tensegrity structures differ significantly from other compliant systems by their pre-stress state and specific morphology. Due to these two properties, these structures are particularly predestined for future-oriented applications in soft-material robotics. The application of special smart materials in such structures for the simultaneous generation of actuator and sensory properties leads to a high degree of functional integration. Therefore, the project considers the exploration and analysis of such structures and the derivation of fundamental principles of their adaptive behavior, using a holistic approach based on structural, material and manufacturing aspects.
The results of the fundamental research in this project form the basis for the exploration of the potential, advantages as well as limitations of compliant tensegrity structures for the application in soft material robotics.