Flexible Self-reconfigurable Robots Based on Thermoplastic Adhesives

  • Fumiya IidaEmail author
  • Liyu Wang
  • Luzius Brodbeck
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 104)


The paper introduces a concept of flexible self-reconfiguration that makes use of thermoplastic adhesives (TPAs) in robotic systems. TPAs are polymer based materials that exhibit several interesting mechanical properties beneficial for self-reconfiguration. For example, thermoplasticity enables robots to flexibly fabricate a number of different mechanical structures, while temperature-dependent adhesion allows systems to make robust connection and disconnection. This paper introduces robotic self-reconfiguration by using three TPA handling processes, i.e. structure formation, connection and disconnection. These processes are then examined in a few practical application scenarios, i.e. pick and place operations of a variety of objects, autonomous body extension of robotic manipulators, and robots climbing on uneven surfaces. And finally we discusses challenges and perspectives of this approach.


Robotic System Robot Manipulator Robotic Manipulator Active Connection 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory, Institute of Robotics and Intelligent SystemsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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