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26 August 1999 Robot modularity for self-reconfiguration
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Metamorphic robots are an emerging field in which robotics can dynamically reconfigure shape and size not only for individual roots but also for complex structures that are formed by multiple robots. Such capability is highly in tasks such as fire fighting, earthquake rescue, and battlefield scouting, where robots must go through unexpected situations and obstacles and perform tasks that are difficult for fixed-shape robots. This research direction present a number of technical research challenges. Specifically, metamorphic robots must be able to decompose and reassemble at will from a set of basic connectable modules. Such modules must be small, self-sufficient and relatively homogeneous. In this paper, we present our approach to address these issue and describe the design of the CONRO modules. These modules are equipped with a low power micro-processor, memory chips, sensors, actuators, power supplies, and miniature mechanical connectors used for communication and power sharing. We will also describe a set of control mechanisms for controlling gaits and reconfigurations. We conclude the paper with a status report of the CONRO project and a list of the future work needed to fully realize the construction of the CONRO metamorphic robots.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Peter M. Will, Andres Castano, and Wei-Min Shen "Robot modularity for self-reconfiguration", Proc. SPIE 3839, Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems II, (26 August 1999);


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