ITcon Vol. 14, pg. 229-237,

Control enhancements of a biomimetic structure

published:June 2009
editor(s):Kazi A S, Aouad G, Baldwin A
authors:Ian F.C. Smith
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
summary:Implementation of active control has much potential to contribute to the creation and construction of innovative structures and other building systems such as those needed for climate control. This paper summarizes recent research at EPFL that is evaluating biomimetic civil structures through active geometry control. Intelligent control methodologies that implement stochastic search with case-based reasoning, self-diagnosis, multi-objective shape control, self-repair and reinforcement learning are proposed and validated experimentally on a five-module active tensegrity structure. It is concluded that i) previous control cases improve control performance; ii) self-diagnosis extends active structural control of tensegrity structures to situations where there may be partially defined loading events and damage; iii) multi-objective search is attractive for computing robust commands that control geometry of an active tensegrity structure and iv) the active control system can be used to apply control commands that increase stiffness and decrease stresses within an active tensegrity structure that is damaged. The integration of intelligent control methodologies such as those described in this paper to an active tensegrity structure creates a biomimetic example that could be applied to a range of other building systems.
keywords:Biomimetics, control, learning, self-diagnostics, damage tolerance
full text: (PDF file, 3.177 MB)
citation:Smith I (2009). Control enhancements of a biomimetic structure, ITcon Vol. 14, Special issue Next Generation Construction IT: Technology Foresight, Future Studies, Roadmapping, and Scenario Planning, pg. 229-237,