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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 794251, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/794251
Research Article

Self-Reconfigurable Modular Robots Adaptively Transforming a Mechanical Structure: Algorithm for Adaptive Transformation to Load Condition

1Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, The University of Electro-Communications, 1828585 Tokyo, Japan
2Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 1528550 Tokyo, Japan
3Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, 3868567 Nagano, Japan

Received 14 July 2011; Accepted 25 October 2011

Academic Editor: Gordon R. Pennock

Copyright © 2011 Yosuke Suzuki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Self-reconfigurable modular robots are composed of modules which are able to autonomously change the way they are connected. An appropriate control algorithm enables the modular robots to change their shape in order to adapt to their immediate environment. In this paper, we propose an algorithm for adaptive transformation to load condition of the modular robots. The algorithm is based on a simple idea that modules have tendency to gather around stress-concentrated parts and reinforce the parts. As a result of the self-reconfiguration rule, the modular robots form an appropriate structure to stand for the load condition. Applying the algorithm to our modular robot named “CHOBIE II,” we show by computer simulation that the modules are able to construct a cantilever structure with avoiding overstressed states.