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CAD representation of Shady, a truss climbing robot with a deployable sun-shade (spokes; mylar shade not drawn) as an example application.

We work in the new Stata Center building at MIT in a room with a large wall-window which currently has no shades to block sunlight. As many of our desks are directly next to this window we needed some means to block the light from hitting our computer screens. Instead of traditional shades which would block the whole window, detracting from the view, we have decided to build a robot which can climb on the window's aluminum frame. It can thus be positioned on the window to be a localized sunshade.

While many climbing robots have been developed, only a few climb on thin-member truss-like structures. Shady tests some new ideas in design and control, in particular, using mechanical compliances and associated proprioception, and was experimentally verified to be over 99.8% robust over many hours of climbing.

Contents for This Page

Truss Climbing

A map of the wall-window in our lab. The frame of the window (yellow lines) is composed of rigid aluminum members, each about 1 inch wide.

A Demon App: Sun Shading


Compliance and Proprioception

File:shady-barrel-springs-mq.avi File:shady-barrel-compliance-mq.avi File:shady-grip-compliance-mq.avi


Linkage-Based Grip Mechanism

File:shady-grip-oblique-mq.avi File:shady-grip-front-mq.avi
File:shady-grip-end-mq.avi File:shady-grip-rear-mq.avi

Research Context

Experimental Results



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