Lab Papers (GRASP)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version


Publication Source

IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Bib Tex


title={{TrussBot}: Modeling, design and control of a compliant, helical truss of tetrahedral modules},

author = {Yuhong Qin and Linda Ting and Celestina Saven and Yumika Amemiya and Michael Tanis and Randall Kamien and Cynthia Sung},

booktitle={IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},




Modular and truss robots offer the potential of high reconfigurability and great functional flexibility, but common implementations relying on rigid components often lead to highly complex actuation and control requirements. This paper introduces a new type of modular, compliant robot: TrussBot. TrussBot is composed of 3D-printed tetrahedral modules connected at the corners with compliant joints. We propose a truss geometry, analyze its deformation modes, and provide a simulation framework for predicting its behavior under applied loads and actuation. The TrussBot is geometrically constrained, thus requiring compliant joints to move. The TrussBot can be actuated through a network of tendons which pinch vertices together and apply a twisting motion due to the structure's connectivity. The truss was demonstrated in a physical prototype and compared to simulation results.

Supplemental video:


modular robot, compliant, simulation, design

Included in

Robotics Commons



Date Posted:21 June 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.