26 August 1999 Self-reconfiguration planning for a class of modular robots
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Abstract
Modular self-reconfigurable robots consist of large numbers of identical modules that possess the ability to reconfigure into different shapes as required by the task at hand. For example, such a robot could start out as a snake to traverse a narrow pipe, then re-assemble itself into a six-legged spider to move over uneven terrain, growing a pair of arms to pick up and manipulate an object at the same time. This paper examines the self-reconfigurable problem and present a divide-and-conquer strategy to solve reconfiguration for a class of problems referred to as closed-chain reconfiguration. This class includes reconfigurable robots whose topologies are described by 1D combinatorial topology. A robot topology is first decomposed into a hierarchy of small 'substrates' belonging to a finite set. Basic reconfiguration operations between the substructures in the set are precomputed, optimized and stored in a lookup table. The entire reconfiguration then consists of an ordered series of simple, precomputed sub-reconfigurations happening locally among the substructures.
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Arancha Casal, Arancha Casal, Mark H. Yim, Mark H. Yim, } "Self-reconfiguration planning for a class of modular robots", Proc. SPIE 3839, Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems II, (26 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.360345; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.360345
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