Integrating Strcture and Control Design using the Tensegrity Paradigm
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Not much theory is available to design material systems and structures that facilitate and cooperate with the intended control function. Separating design and control tasks leads to wasteful mass of the structure and wasteful control energy to achieve the objectives. We often mount actuators on structures to torture the structure to do something it was not designed to do. A good example is the airplane wing, where the structure has an optimized airfoil shape, until you try to control it. This talk will show why the tensegrity paradigm of structural concepts is the favored approach to integrate structure and control design. I will show that a tensegrity topology is the minimal mass solution for each of the six fundamental boundary conditions in structure design (tension, compression, bending: cantilevered, simply-supported, torsion). I will show that the best (simplest) form of the dynamic equations is a matrix second order differential equation. Some examples will include space structures, bridges, antennas, telescopes, robotics.