Hierarchical Planning for Self-reconfiguring Robots Using Module Kinematics

  • Robert FitchEmail author
  • Rowan McAllister
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 83)


Reconfiguration allows a self-reconfiguring modular robot to adapt to its environment. The reconfiguration planning problem is one of the key algorithmic challenges in realizing self-reconfiguration. Many existing successful approaches rely on grouping modules together to act as meta-modules. However, we are interested in reconfiguration planning that does not impose fixed meta-module relationships but instead forms cooperative relationships between modules dynamically. This approach avoids the need to hand-code meta-module motions and potentially allows reconfiguration with fewer modules. In this paper we present a general two level reconfiguration framework. The top level plans in module-connector space using distributed dynamic programming. The lower level accepts a transition function for the kinematic model of the chosen module type as input. As an example, we implement such a transition function for the 3R, SuperBot-style module. Although not explored in this paper, this general approach is naturally extended to consider power use, clock time, or other quantities of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous SystemsThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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