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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

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

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

atron concept
ATRON Concept
  • Key insight: 3D self-reconfiguration can be achieved even-though each module only has one rotational degree of freedom
mechanics prototype 0
Mechanics : Prototype 0

Concept:

Using arms for alignment and screw to connect

Produced in 3D printer

mechanics prototype 1a
Mechanics : Prototype 1A
  • Connector Concept
    • Two arms parallel to equator
  • Test of connector
    • Too weak
mechanics prototype 1b
Mechanics : Prototype 1B
  • Connector Concept
    • Trippel Hooks
    • Dual bars
  • Test of connector
    • Prototype broke
mechanics final prototype
Mechanics : Final Prototype
  • Improved main bearing
  • Improved connector-mechanism
electronics
Electronics
  • Two hemispheres
    • Two sets of main processors
    • Connector actuation
    • Hemispheres connected by slipring
  • One power management processor
  • Sensors
electronics power supply
Electronics : Power Supply
  • Manages recharging
  • Shares power
  • Selects best power source
  • Monitors the organism power supply
  • Regulates power
  • 600 batteries sponsored by Danionics
iros2004 demonstration videos
IROS2004 - Demonstration videos
  • Misalignment correction
  • Double rotation
  • Power sharing
concept demonstations
Concept Demonstations
  • David Christensen
    • Meta module demo (ATRON Demo 1)
  • Jakob Stampe Mikkelsen
    • Walker
explored control concepts
Explored control concepts
  • Local control
    • Local rules (Esben H. Østergaard)
    • Gradients and scaffolds (Kasper Støy)
    • Meta modules (David Christensen)
  • Centralized control
    • Planning (David Brandt)
local rules
Local Rules

Esben Østergaard

meta modules
Meta modules

David Christensen

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Control achievements
    • Control is difficult, but experience gained
  • ATRON Achievements
    • Innovative connector design
    • Innovative lattice structure resulting in
      • Simplified modules
      • Easier control…
intermezzo
Intermezzo

Queen of Denmark admires ATRON module together with the Japanese emperor

slide21

The Cruel Reality of Self-Reconfigurable Robots

Kasper Støy

AdapTronics Group

The Maersk Institute for Production Technology

University of Southern Denmark

robust vs fragile
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

robust vs fragile25
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
versatile vs useless
Versatile vs Useless
  • A self-reconfigurable robot can change into any shape needed for the task
versatile vs useless28
Versatile vs useless
  • In practice motion constraints make it difficult to change shape
versatile vs useless29
Versatile vs useless
  • In practice motion constraints make it difficult to change shape
versatile vs useless30
Versatile vs useless

Start

Goal

David Brandt

versatile vs useless31
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
cheap vs expensive
Cheap vs Expensive
  • ATRON $2000
  • MTRAN $3500
  • ….
challenges of self reconfigurable robots
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

make robot strength greater than o 1
Make robot strength greater than O(1)?
  • Use module weight to gain leverage (seesaw)
  • Crystalline/Telecube parallel chains
  • ….
slide36
Reduce module complexity (cost)?
  • ATRON is a step forward, but further - no idea…
  • Reduce the consequences of module failure?
  • No idea
reduce motion constraints to facilitate easy self reconfiguration
Reduce motion constraints to facilitate easy self-reconfiguration?
  • Metamodules
  • Scaffold
  • Telecube
hypothesis
Hypothesis
  • The challenges cannot only be addressed at the level of control
  • The challenges have to be addressed by new innovative hardware design
challenges of self reconfigurable robots39
Challenges of self-reconfigurable robots
  • 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

deformable modular robots
Deformable Modular Robots
  • All modules are permanently connected in a lattice
  • Modules can only contract or expand

(limited but flexible

crystalline module)

concept demonstration
Concept Demonstration
  • Physical implementation
    • Deformatron
    • Hexatron
  • Simulation
deformable modular robots42
Deformable Modular Robots
  • 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
conclusion43
Conclusion
  • 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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