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Research Papers

Module Design and Functionally Non-Isomorphic Configurations of the Hex-DMR II System

[+] Author and Article Information
Joshua D. Davis

Robot and Protein Kinematics Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, MD 21218
e-mail: jdavi160@jhu.edu

Yunuscan Sevimli

Robot and Protein Kinematics Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, MD 21218
e-mail: yunus@jhu.edu

Baxter R. Eldridge

Robot and Protein Kinematics Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, MD 21218
e-mail: beldrid1@jhu.edu

Gregory S. Chirikjian

Robot and Protein Kinematics Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, MD 21218
e-mail: gregc@jhu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 14, 2015; final manuscript received December 9, 2015; published online May 4, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Venkat Krovi.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(5), 051008 (May 04, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1260; doi: 10.1115/1.4032273 History: Received September 14, 2015; Revised December 09, 2015

Modular robots have captured the interest of the robotics community over the past several years. In particular, many modular robotic systems are reconfigurable, robust against faults, and low-cost due to mass production of a small number of different homogeneous modules. Faults in these systems are normally tolerated through redundancy or corrected by discarding damaged modules, which reduces the operational capabilities of the robot. To overcome these difficulties, we previously developed and discussed the general design constraints of a heterogeneous modular robotic system (Hex-DMR II) capable of autonomous team repair and diagnosis. In this paper, we discuss the design of each module, in detail, and present a new, novel elevator module. Then, we introduce a forestlike structure that enumerates every non-isomorphic, functional agent configuration of our system. Finally, we present a case study contrasting the kinematics and power consumption of two particular configurations during a mapping task.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Comparison of the Hex-DMR systems

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Fig. 2

Views of an agent of the Hex-DMR II system: (a) isometric view of a repair agent of Hex-DMR II and (b) exploded view of a repair agent of Hex-DMR II

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Fig. 3

Graphical representation of the module insertion process: (a) driving forward to dock a module, (b) attaching a module to the central hub, and (c) driving backward to continue previous task

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Fig. 4

Stills from an experimental trial of the module insertion process: (a) the repair agent begins rotating clockwise until it senses the disabled agent, (b) the repair agent approaches the disabled agent and checks for a lack of module, (c) upon sensing a module, the repair agent rotates about the disabled agent until it faces a new module, and (d) the repair agent senses a lack of module and travels forward to insert the new module into the disabled agent, completing the repair process

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Fig. 5

Exploded view of a module with its corresponding parts list

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Fig. 6

The PIC board: (a) top of board and (b) bottom of board

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Fig. 7

CAD representations of the types of modules for the Hex-DMR II system: (a) CAD central hub, (b) CAD elevator module (E), (c) CAD manipulator module (M), (d) CAD drive module (D), (e) CAD camera module (Ca), (f) CAD control module (C), and (g) CAD power module (P)

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Fig. 8

Hardware prototypes of modules for Hex-DMR II: (a) central hub, (b) elevator module (E), (c) manipulator module (M), (d) drive module (D), (e) camera module (Ca), (f) control module (C), and (g) power module (P)

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Fig. 9

Central hub PCB with connections: (a) top view and (b) side view

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Fig. 10

Electrical bus for a seven-module agent

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Fig. 11

Configurational tree for the six-wheeled base configuration: (a) main tree, (b) manipulator module subtree, (c) power module subtree, (d) control module subtree, and (e) camera module subtree

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Fig. 12

Coordinate reference frame for the kinematics

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Fig. 13

Trajectory for a Hex-DMR II agent

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Fig. 14

Wheel angular velocity inputs for the given trajectory: (a) angular velocities for a three-wheeled agent and (b) angular velocities for a six-wheeled agent

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Fig. 15

Experimental setup for measuring the maximum tractive force on concrete

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