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ATRON Robots: Versatility from Self-Reconfigurable Modules

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3 Author(s)
David Brandt ; Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. ; David Johan Christensen ; Henrik Hautop Lund

Traditional fixed morphology robots are limited to purely functional adaptation and thereby to a limited range of applications. In contrast modular self-reconfigurable robots can dynamically and autonomously change both their function and morphology to meet new demands of changing tasks. Therefore, self-reconfigurable robots have the potential to become highly versatile. This paper documents and discusses the application versatility of self-reconfigurable robots in general and of the ATRON system in particular. We present a range of different self-reconfigurable robots assembled from the ATRON base module. The robot's ability includes locomotion (snake, car, and walker), manipulation of objects (serial manipulator, conveyer belt) and autonomous change of functionality and shape (locomotion configurations, many-module shape-change). We also demonstrate the structure of simple anatomical building blocks (bones, muscles, etc.) which we envision can be assembled into more complex robots of future miniaturized modules.

Published in:

2007 International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation

Date of Conference:

5-8 Aug. 2007