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Technical Brief

Enumeration of Configurations and Their Kinematics for ModRED II Modular Robots

[+] Author and Article Information
Kazi M. Hossain

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

Carl A. Nelson

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

Prithviraj Dasgupta

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

Manuscript received October 15, 2016; final manuscript received April 25, 2017; published online June 22, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Hai-Jun Su.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 9(5), 054501 (Jun 22, 2017) (5 pages) Paper No: JMR-16-1310; doi: 10.1115/1.4036740 History: Received October 15, 2016; Revised April 25, 2017

Modular robotics is a popular topic for robotic applications and design. The reason behind this popularity is the ability to use and reuse 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 (DOF) For example, ModRED II modules have two types of connections and four DOF 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.

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Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Kinematics , Robots
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Graph representation of robot configuration: (a) a four-module structure and (b) its graph representation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Adjacency matrix and (b) weighted adjacency matrix for configuration in Fig. 1

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Reference frames for a single module—adapted from Ref. [15]

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