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The ATRON Self-reconfigurable Robot challenges and future directions. Kasper Støy AdapTronics Group The Maersk Institute for Production Technology University of Southern Denmark www.hydra-robot.dk. ATRON Terrestrial Self-Reconfiguration Henrik H. Lund, Esben H. Ostergaard

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The atron self reconfigurable robot challenges and future directions l.jpg

The ATRON Self-reconfigurable Robotchallenges and future directions

Kasper Støy

AdapTronics Group

The Maersk Institute for Production Technology

University of Southern Denmark

www.hydra-robot.dk


Slide2 l.jpg

ATRON

Terrestrial Self-Reconfiguration

Henrik H. Lund, Esben H. Ostergaard

Richard Beck, Lars Dalsgaard, Morten W. Jorgensen

Associated:

Kristian Kassow, Leonid Paramonov, Kasper Støy,

David Christensen, David Brandt, Danny Kyrping

Maersk Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark



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ATRON Concept

  • Key insight: 3D self-reconfiguration can be achieved even-though each module only has one rotational degree of freedom


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Mechanics : Prototype 0

Concept:

Using arms for alignment and screw to connect

Produced in 3D printer


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Mechanics : Prototype 1A

  • Connector Concept

    • Two arms parallel to equator

  • Test of connector

    • Too weak


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Mechanics : Prototype 1B

  • Connector Concept

    • Trippel Hooks

    • Dual bars

  • Test of connector

    • Prototype broke


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Mechanics : Final Prototype

  • Improved main bearing

  • Improved connector-mechanism


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Electronics

  • Two hemispheres

    • Two sets of main processors

    • Connector actuation

    • Hemispheres connected by slipring

  • One power management processor

  • Sensors


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Electronics : Power Supply

  • Manages recharging

  • Shares power

  • Selects best power source

  • Monitors the organism power supply

  • Regulates power

  • 600 batteries sponsored by Danionics




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IROS2004 - Demonstration videos

  • Misalignment correction

  • Double rotation

  • Power sharing


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Concept Demonstations

  • David Christensen

    • Meta module demo (ATRON Demo 1)

  • Jakob Stampe Mikkelsen

    • Walker


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Explored control concepts

  • Local control

    • Local rules (Esben H. Østergaard)

    • Gradients and scaffolds (Kasper Støy)

    • Meta modules (David Christensen)

  • Centralized control

    • Planning (David Brandt)



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Local Rules

Esben Østergaard


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Meta modules

David Christensen


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Conclusion

  • Control achievements

    • Control is difficult, but experience gained

  • ATRON Achievements

    • Innovative connector design

    • Innovative lattice structure resulting in

      • Simplified modules

      • Easier control…


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Intermezzo

Queen of Denmark admires ATRON module together with the Japanese emperor


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The Cruel Reality of Self-Reconfigurable Robots

Kasper Støy

AdapTronics Group

The Maersk Institute for Production Technology

University of Southern Denmark


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Vision of self-reconfigurable robots

  • Robust

  • Versatile

  • Cheap



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Robust vs Fragile

  • Robustness comes from redundancy

    • If a module fails it can be ejected and other modules can take over

    • Graceful degradation of performance

USC’s ISI


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Robust vs Fragile

  • Difficult to detect if a module has failed

  • Due to motion constraints it is difficult to eject the failed module

  • Due to weakness of modules it may not be possible to eject the failed module at all


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Versatile vs Useless

  • A self-reconfigurable robot can change into any shape needed for the task


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Versatile vs useless

  • In practice motion constraints make it difficult to change shape


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Versatile vs useless

  • In practice motion constraints make it difficult to change shape


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Versatile vs useless

Start

Goal

David Brandt


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Versatile vs useless

  • Too weak to interact with the world

    • The ATRON and the MTRAN robots can only lift in the order of a few modules


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Cheap vs Expensive

  • ATRON $2000

  • MTRAN $3500

  • ….


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The Reality of Self-Reconfigurable Robots

  • Fragile!

  • Useless!

  • Expensive!


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Challenges of self-reconfigurable robots

  • How do we

    • Make robot strength greater than O(1)?

    • Reduce motion constraints to facilitate easy self-reconfiguration?

    • Reduce the consequences of module failure?

    • Reduce module complexity (cost)?

      …while maintaining our successful results


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Make robot strength greater than O(1)?

  • Use module weight to gain leverage (seesaw)

  • Crystalline/Telecube parallel chains

  • ….


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Reduce module complexity (cost)?

  • ATRON is a step forward, but further - no idea…

  • Reduce the consequences of module failure?

  • No idea


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Reduce motion constraints to facilitate easy self-reconfiguration?

  • Metamodules

  • Scaffold

  • Telecube


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Hypothesis self-reconfiguration?

  • The challenges cannot only be addressed at the level of control

  • The challenges have to be addressed by new innovative hardware design


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Challenges of self-reconfigurable robots self-reconfiguration?

  • How do we design the module to

    • Make robot strength greater than O(1)?

    • Reduce motion constraints to facilitate easy self-reconfiguration?

    • Reduce the consequences of module failure?

    • Reduce module complexity (cost)?

      …while maintaining our successful results


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Deformable Modular Robots self-reconfiguration?

  • All modules are permanently connected in a lattice

  • Modules can only contract or expand

    (limited but flexible

    crystalline module)


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Concept Demonstration self-reconfiguration?

  • Physical implementation

    • Deformatron

    • Hexatron

  • Simulation


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Deformable Modular Robots self-reconfiguration?

  • Make robot strength greater than O(1)?

    • Through parallelisms

  • Reduce motion constraints to facilitate easy self-reconfiguration?

    • Done

  • Reduce the consequences of module failure?

    • Done

  • Reduce module complexity (cost)?

    • No connectors

      …while maintaining our successful results

    • Shape change within limits

    • No self-replicating robot


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Conclusion self-reconfiguration?

  • Self-reconfigurable robots are facing serious challenges

    • Increase strength, reduce motion constraints, increase fault tolerance, reduce complexity (price)

  • Radical new hardware designs needed

    • Deformable modular robots may be able to sidestep the hardest problems, but at a cost


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