Hardware Design and Testing of ModRED: A Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robot System

  • S. G. M. Hossain
  • Carl A. Nelson
  • Prithviraj Dasgupta
Conference paper


Unstructured environments are challenging for conventional robots, and modular self-reconfigurable robots (MSRs) can be deployed to overcome this challenge. The goal of the current work was to develop a flexible, cost effective multi-module robot system capable of self-reconfiguration and achieving various gaits in unstructured environments. This paper discusses the communication aspects of the Modular Robot for Exploration and Discovery (ModRED) robot system from a hardware perspective. To ensure enhanced flexibility and local autonomy as well as better reconfiguration, each robot module is built with four independent degrees of freedom, and a novel docking interface provides interconnection of modules. The prototyping effort is described with emphasis on the implementation of inter-module communication. The electronic hardware layout and control system are described, and the communication system is outlined. Finally, some preliminary testing of the developed prototype is presented.


Modular self-reconfigurable robots Distributed control Radio communication 



We gratefully acknowledge support from NASA Nebraska Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. G. M. Hossain
    • 1
  • Carl A. Nelson
    • 1
  • Prithviraj Dasgupta
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.University of NebraskaOmahaUSA

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