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A novel link-type modular robot, which can change its shape, has been developed for potential application in urban search and rescue (USAR) operation. The advantages of the robot with link-type structure have been specified, and its shape shifting principle has been discussed. A three-module shape shifting robot has three kinds of symmetry configurations, that is, line type, triangle type and row type. Each configuration possesses its unique mobility. A tracked prototype has been built and tested under various unstructured environment Experiments have demonstrated its mobility and flexibility.