- Journal Article
A tensegrity is a lightweight space structure consisting of compression members surrounded by a network of tension members. They can be easily dismantled and therefore provide innovative possibilities for reusable and modular structures. Tensegrities can adapt their shape by changing their self stress, and when equipped with sensors and actuators, they can adapt to changing environments. A full-scale prototype of an adjustable tensegrity has been built and tested at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL). This paper begins with a description of important aspects of the design, assembly, and static testing. Tests show that the structure behaves linearly when subjected to vertical loads applied to a single joint. Nonlinearities are detected for small displacements, for loads applied to several joints and for adjusting combinations of telescoping compression members. To predict behavior, dynamic relaxation—a nonlinear method—has been found to be reliable. Appropriate strut adjustments found by a stochastic search algorithm are identified for the control goal of constant roof slope and for the load conditions studied. When adjusting struts, an excessive number of adjustable members does not necessarily lead to improved performance. © 2003 American Society of Civil Engineers. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of Structural Engineering
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
SubjectSpace structures; Tension; Tests
Organisational unit03954 - Shea, Kristina / Shea, Kristina
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