To understand how we control motion, we need to understand the physical
mechanism being moved. Emerging theories of vertebrate physiology are
overturning the traditional bone-centric model of the body in favor of a
"tensegrity" model, in which the primary load paths are in the continuous
tension network of the soft tissues. In this talk, I will discuss research
and development at NASA Ames into dynamic tensegrity robots and how these
"soft machines" may be controlled through biologically inspired methods.
Along the way, I will talk about how the unique properties of tensegrity
robots may enable new methods of planetary landing and exploration.