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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Tinker-Toys-IN-SPAAACE dept.

Popeidol writes:

"NASA is testing out some new designs for robots based on Tensegrity (Short for Tensional Integrity, a principle Buckminster Fuller helped develop). The idea is that you have rigid rods joined by flexible joints and cables, which gives you a highly-resilient and flexible structure. NASA calls it the Super Ball Bot "for its ability to bounce on landing and shift its shape via multiple small motors to roll across a surface."

There are still plenty of problems to be solved, the positive attributes mean they're currently investigating the option of simultaneously deploying many of them to the surface of a planet directly from orbit."

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by dotdotdot on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:13PM

    by dotdotdot (858) on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:13PM (#8102)

    a space tumbleweed

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by crutchy on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:49PM

      by crutchy (179) on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:49PM (#8115) Homepage Journal

      that's all they could afford to build using their $400 hammer

      and all the contractors they normally use to build civil space stuff are busy building weapons for the federal reserve... oops i mean federal government

    • (Score: 1) by EvilJim on Thursday February 27 2014, @09:52PM

      by EvilJim (2501) on Thursday February 27 2014, @09:52PM (#8132) Journal

      [crickets] wooeeooeeoooooo [eagle screech]

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by weeds on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:19PM

    by weeds (611) on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:19PM (#8105) Journal

    Back in the day I learned a bit about Fuller. As I recall, the tensegrity sphere was more of a demonstration piece and we couldn't really figure out what it might be good for.

    Fuller also designed and built the dymaxion car http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_car [wikipedia.org] and is likely best know for Geodesic domes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geodesic_dome [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @08:30PM (#8107)

    But do they have Wessonality..? Corn-thenticity?

    • (Score: 1) by EvilJim on Thursday February 27 2014, @09:55PM

      by EvilJim (2501) on Thursday February 27 2014, @09:55PM (#8134) Journal

      wow, your post just reminded me to look that term up... now Leisure suit Larry makes sense. if only I had urban dictionary/wikipedia as a 10 year old.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by skullz on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:24PM

    by skullz (2532) on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:24PM (#8145)

    The Wired video of that beast moving along is freaky, kind of a mix between a demon possessed zombie, a tumbleweed, and a drunken game of pickup sticks.

    I want one for Halloween.