Article

Science in China Series F: Information Sciences

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 697-710

Center-configuration selection technique for the reconfigurable modular robot

  • Liu JinGuo Affiliated withRobotics Laboratory of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang Institute of AutomationCOE Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University Email author 
  • , Wang YueChao Affiliated withRobotics Laboratory of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang Institute of Automation
  • , Li Bin Affiliated withRobotics Laboratory of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang Institute of Automation
  • , Ma ShuGen Affiliated withRobotics Laboratory of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang Institute of AutomationGraduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Tan DaLong Affiliated withRobotics Laboratory of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang Institute of Automation

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Abstract

The reconfigurable modular robot has an enormous amount of configurations to adapt to various environments and tasks. It greatly increases the complexity of configuration research in that the possible configuration number of the reconfigurable modular robot grows exponentially with the increase of module number. Being the initial configuration or the basic configuration of the reconfigurable robot, the center-configuration plays a crucial role in system’s actual applications. In this paper, a novel center-configuration selection technique has been proposed for reconfigurable modular robots. Based on the similarities between configurations’ transformation and graph theory, configuration network has been applied in the modeling and analyzing of these configurations. Configuration adjacency matrix, reconfirmation cost matrix, and center-configuration coefficient have been defined for the configuration network correspondingly. Being similar to the center-location problem, the center configuration has been selected according to the largest center-configuration coefficient. As an example of the reconfigurable robotic system, AMOEBA-I, a three-module reconfigurable robot with nine configurations which was developed in Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has been introduced briefly. According to the numerical simulation result, the center-configuration coefficients for these nine configurations have been calculated and compared to validate this technique. Lastly, a center-configuration selection example is provided with consideration of the adjacent configurations. The center-configuration selection technique proposed in this paper is also available to other reconfigurable modular robots.

Keywords

reconfigurable robot modular robot center-configuration configuration network reconfiguration cost matrix center-configuration coefficient