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Technical Brief

Enumeration of Configurations and their Kinematics for ModRED II Modular Robots

[+] Author and Article Information
Kazi M. Hossain

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering W342 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0526
kazi.mashfique@gmail.com

Carl A. Nelson

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering W342 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0526
cnelson5@unl.edu

Prithviraj Dasgupta

University of Nebraska at Omaha, Department of Computer Science 1110 S. 67th Street, PKI 172, Omaha, NE 68106
pdasgupta@unomaha.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036740 History: Received October 15, 2016; Revised April 25, 2017

Abstract

Modular robotics is a popular topic for robotic applications and design. The reason behind this popularity is the ability to use and re-use the same robot modules for accomplishing different tasks through reconfiguration. The robots are capable of self-reconfiguration based on the requirements of the task and environmental constraints. It is possible to have a large number of configuration combinations for the same set of modules. Therefore, it is important to identify unique configurations from among the full set of possible configurations and establish a kinematic strategy for each before reconfiguring the robots into a new shape. This becomes more difficult for robot units having more than one connection type and more degrees of freedom. For example, ModRED II modules have two types of connections and four degrees of freedom per module. In this paper, the set of configurations is enumerated, and determination of configuration isomorphism is accomplished for ModRED II modules using graph theory. Kinematic equations are then derived for unique configurations. The kinematic method is then demonstrated for certain example configurations using ModRED II modules.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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