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Self-assembly and self-repair method for a distributed mechanical system

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5 Author(s)
Tomita, K. ; Lab. of Mech. Eng., AIST, Ibaraki, Japan ; Murata, S. ; Kurokawa, H. ; Yoshida, E.
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We propose a self-assembly and self-repair method for a homogeneous distributed mechanical system. We focus on a category of distributed systems composed of numbers of identical units which can dynamically change connections among themselves. Each unit has an onboard microprocessor, and local communication between neighboring units is possible. We discuss a distributed method for a group of such units to metamorphose from an arbitrary configuration into a desired configuration through cooperation by the units. This process, called self-assembly, is realized by identical software on each unit with local inter-unit communication. An extension of self-assembly, self-repair, is also examined. In this process, an occasional cut-off of an arbitrary part of the system is assumed. When some part of the system detects damage, the whole system degenerates and reconstructs itself. Computer simulations show the feasibility of self-assembly and self-repair

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 6 )