Unstable-unit tensegrity plate: modeling and design Conference Paper uri icon


  • A new topology for a prestressed tensegrity plate, the unstable-unit tensegrity plate (UUTP), is introduced, together with a detailed algorithm for its design. The plate is a truss made of strings (flexible elements) and bars (rigid elements), which are loaded in tension and compression, respectively, where bars do not touch each other. Given the outline dimensions of the desired plate, and the number of bars along the plate's width and length, the algorithm solves for the nodes' positions and the prestress forces that make a plate in equilibrium. This is done by solving a non-linear matrix equation via Newton's method. This equation reflects static equilibrium conditions. We've designed several such plates, proving the feasibility of the proposed topology and the effectiveness of its design algorithm. Two such plates are characterized in detail, both statically and dynamically (via simulation). The proposed algorithm may be extended to solve for other tensegrity structures having different topologies and/or different shapes. The UUTP may be used as a building block of many types of structures, both uncontrolled and controlled, either large-scale or miniature-scale.

name of conference

  • Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of SPIE

author list (cited authors)

  • Zaslavsky, R., de Oliveira, M. C., & Skelton, R. E.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Zaslavsky, Ron||de Oliveira, Mauricio C||Skelton, Robert E

editor list (cited editors)

  • Baz, A. M.

publication date

  • August 2003