Motion of Minimal Configurations of a Modular Robot: Sinusoidal, Lateral Rolling and Lateral Shift

  • Juan Gonzalez-Gomez
  • Eduardo Boemo


Complex modular robots can be constructed by means of simple modules. There is no geometric superior size to the total number of modules that can be added. The number of possible configurations growth exponentially. However, an inferior limit exists: the minimum number of modules needed to achieve the locomotion. In this paper, three minimal configurations has been developed using only two and three one-degree-of-freedom modules. The simplest one is pitch-pitch (PP) configuration, composed of two modules, which can move in a straight line, forward or backward, at different speeds. The second one is the pitch-yaw-pitch (PYP), with one more module that moves in the yaw axis. In this case, three new kinds of motion can be achieved: 2D sinusoidal motion, lateral shift and lateral rolling. All these gaits are controlled by sinusoidal waves using different amplitudes and phases. Finally, the third configuration is a three-modules star, that can be moved in three directions as well as rotated parallel to the ground.


Simple Module Lateral Shift Sinusoidal Wave Sinusoidal Function Modular Robot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Mark Yim, Zhang & David Duff, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), “Modular Robots”. IEEE Spectrum Magazine. Febrero 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Duff, M. Yim, K. Roufas, “Evolution of PolyBot: A Modular Reconfigurable Robot”, Proc. of the Harmonic Drive Intl. Symposium, Nagano, Japan, Nov. 2001, and Proc. of COE/Super-Mechano-Systems Workshop, Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 2001.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Butler Z., Murata S., Rus D., (2002) “Distributed Replication Algorithms for Self-Reconfiguring Modular Robots, Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems 5, pp. 37–48.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Marbach, D. and Ijspeert, A.J.: Co-evolution of Configuration and Control for Homogenous Modular Robots. In Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS8), F. Groen et al. (Eds.), IOS Press, 2004, pp 712–719.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    S. Murata, E. Yoshida, A. Kamimura, H. Kurokawa, K. Tomita, and S. Kokaji, “M-TRAN: Selfreconfigurable modular robotic system,” Ieee-Asme Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 7, pp. 431–441, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. Yim, D. Duff, K. Roufas, “Modular Reconfigurable Robots, An Aproach to Urban Search and Rescue,” Proc. of 1st Intl. Workshop on Human-friendly welfare Robotic Systems (HWRS2000) Taejon, Korea, pp.69–76, Jan. 2000.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Yim, K. Roufas, D. Duff, Y. Zhang, C. Eldershaw, “Modular Reconfigurable Robots in Space Applications”, Autonomous Robot Journal, special issue for Robots in Space, Springer Verlag, 2003.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. Mori, S. Hirose, “Three-dimensional serpentine motion and lateral rolling by Active Cord Mechanism ACM-R3”. Proceedings of the 2002 IEEE/RSJ. Intl. Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland. pp. 829–834, Oct 2002.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. Gonzez-Gez, E. Aguayo, E. Boemo, “Locomotion of a Modular Worm-like Robot using a FPGA-based embedded MicroBlaze Soft-processor”. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots, CLAWAR 2004. Madrid, Spain, Sep. 2004.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Gonzalez-Gomez
    • 1
  • Eduardo Boemo
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversidad Autonoma de MadridMadrid

Personalised recommendations