Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

2009 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers (Editor-in-Chief)

Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots

  • Mark Yim
  • Paul White
  • Michael Park
  • Jimmy Sastra
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3_334

Definition of the Subject

Modular self-reconfigurable (MSR) robots are robots composed of a large number of repeated modules that can rearrange their connectednessto form a large variety of structures. An MSR system can change its shape to suit the task, whether it is climbing through a hole, rolling likea hoop, or assembling a complex structure with many arms.

These systems have three promises:

Versatility

The ability to reconfigure allows a robot to disassemble and/or reassemble itself to form morphologies that are well-suited for a variety of given tasks.

Robustness

Since the system is composed of many repeated parts which can be rearranged during operation, faulty parts can be discarded and replaced with an identical module on-the-fly, leading to self-repair.

Low cost

MSR systems can lower module costs since mass production of identical unit modules has an economic advantage that scales favorably. Also, a range of complex machines can be made from a set of modules saving the cost...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Yim
    • 1
  • Paul White
    • 1
  • Michael Park
    • 1
  • Jimmy Sastra
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering and Applied ScienceUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA