Efficient reconfiguration of lattice-based modular robots

Greg Aloupis, Nadia Benbernou, Mirela Damian, Erik D. Demaine, Robin Flatland, John Iacono, Stefanie Wuhrer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Modular robots consist of many identical units (or atoms) that can attach together and perform local motions. By combining such motions, one can achieve a reconfiguration of the global shape of a robot. The term modular comes from the idea of grouping together a fixed number of atoms into a metamodule, which behaves as a larger individual component. Recently, a fair amount of research has focused on algorithms for universal reconfiguration using Crystalline and Telecube metamodules, which use expanding/contracting cubical atoms. From an algorithmic perspective, this work has achieved some of the best asymptotic reconfiguration times under a variety of different physical models. In this paper we show that these results extend to other types of modular robots, thus establishing improved upper bounds on their reconfiguration times. We describe a generic class of modular robots, and we prove that any robot meeting the generic class requirements can simulate the operation of a Crystalline atom by forming a six-arm structure. Previous reconfiguration bounds thus transfer automatically by substituting the six-arm structures for the Crystalline atoms. We also discuss four prototyped robots that satisfy the generic class requirements: M-TRAN, SuperBot, Molecube, and RoomBot.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)917-928
    Number of pages12
    JournalComputational Geometry: Theory and Applications
    Volume46
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2013

    Fingerprint

    Modular robots
    Reconfiguration
    Robot
    Atoms
    Robots
    Crystalline materials
    Motion
    Requirements
    Physical Model
    Grouping
    Upper bound
    Unit
    Term
    Class

    Keywords

    • Crystalline atoms
    • Cubical units Lattice-based modular robots
    • Modular robot reconfiguration algorithms
    • Self-reconfiguring modular robots

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computational Theory and Mathematics
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Computational Mathematics
    • Control and Optimization
    • Geometry and Topology

    Cite this

    Aloupis, G., Benbernou, N., Damian, M., Demaine, E. D., Flatland, R., Iacono, J., & Wuhrer, S. (2013). Efficient reconfiguration of lattice-based modular robots. Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, 46(8), 917-928. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comgeo.2013.03.004

    Efficient reconfiguration of lattice-based modular robots. / Aloupis, Greg; Benbernou, Nadia; Damian, Mirela; Demaine, Erik D.; Flatland, Robin; Iacono, John; Wuhrer, Stefanie.

    In: Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, Vol. 46, No. 8, 2013, p. 917-928.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Aloupis, G, Benbernou, N, Damian, M, Demaine, ED, Flatland, R, Iacono, J & Wuhrer, S 2013, 'Efficient reconfiguration of lattice-based modular robots', Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, vol. 46, no. 8, pp. 917-928. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comgeo.2013.03.004
    Aloupis, Greg ; Benbernou, Nadia ; Damian, Mirela ; Demaine, Erik D. ; Flatland, Robin ; Iacono, John ; Wuhrer, Stefanie. / Efficient reconfiguration of lattice-based modular robots. In: Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications. 2013 ; Vol. 46, No. 8. pp. 917-928.
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