Generation of planar tensegrity structures through cellular multiplication

Omar Aloui, David Orden, Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Tensegrity structures are frameworks in a stable self-equilibrated prestress state that have been applied in various fields in science and engineering. Research into tensegrity structures has resulted in reliable techniques for their form finding and analysis. However, most techniques address topology and form separately. This paper presents a bio-inspired approach for the combined topology identification and form finding of planar tensegrity structures. Tensegrity structures are generated using tensegrity cells (elementary stable self-stressed units that have been proven to compose any tensegrity structure) according to two multiplication mechanisms: cellular adhesion and fusion. Changes in the dimension of the self-stress space of the structure are found to depend on the number of adhesion and fusion steps conducted as well as on the interaction among the cells composing the system. A methodology for defining a basis of the self-stress space is also provided. Through the definition of the equilibrium shape, the number of nodes and members as well as the number of self-stress states, the cellular multiplication method can integrate design considerations, providing great flexibility and control over the tensegrity structure designed and opening the door to the development of a whole new realm of planar tensegrity systems with controllable characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Cellular multiplication
  • Form finding
  • Prestress
  • Self-equilibrium
  • Tensegrity
  • Topology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


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