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Reconfiguration Mechanism Design Mark Yim Associate Professor and Gabel Family Associate Professor Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania There are two fundamental electro-mechanical components to self-reconfiguring robot systems

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Reconfiguration mechanism design l.jpg

Reconfiguration Mechanism Design

Mark Yim

Associate Professor and

Gabel Family Associate Professor

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics,

University of Pennsylvania


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  • There are two fundamental electro-mechanical components to self-reconfiguring robot systems

    • An attaching/detaching mechanism

    • Some form of motion between reconfigurations.

  • Focus on hardware, however, choices in hardware effect software design and vice versa.


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Costs of micro-scale device(pessimistic view)

  • Module: 1mm x 1mm x 1mm MEMS (silicon)

  • Silicon cost ~ $1/sq inch

    • 2003 Revenue $5.7billion / 4.78 billion sq inch silicon

    • $200 / 12” diam, $30 /8“ diam wafers

    • 100um-2000um thick (choose 1mm)

  • Assume processing costs ~$9/sq inch

  • Modules cost 1.6¢

  • Synthesize human shape

  • Mark weighs 65 Kg -> 65,000 cm3

    • Assume density of water (1kg = 1000 cm3 )

  • 65,000,000 modules

    • 1000 modules per cm3

  • Cost: $1,007,502.025


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Costs of micro-scale device(optimistic view)

  • In mature systems, cost goes by the pound.

    • E.g. Xerox machines

    • Optimization in space/volume

  • The process cost can be reduced. Ultimately to near the cost of silicon (factor of 10 savings)

  • Fill factor of modules does not need to be 100% (factor of 10 savings)

  • Find a smaller person to synthesize (factor of 2 savings)

  • Cost $5,037


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Outline

  • Review of Motion mechanisms

    • Chain style reconfiguration

    • Lattice style reconfiguration

  • Review of Latching mechanisms

  • Discussion


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Three Classes of Existing Self-Reconfigurable Robots

Mobile

Chain

Lattice


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Lattice Self-Reconfiguration

Telecube G1


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Proteo

Proteo (never built)

Rhombic Face

(Edge length = 5 cm)


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I-Cube, Cem Unsal @ CMU

Metamorphic, Chirikjian @ Hopkins


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Molecule: Kotay & Rus

Crystal: Vona & Rus

Dartmouth


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Satoshi Murata (lattice)

  • Fracta

  • 3D fracta


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Molecube, Lipson @ cornell

ATRON, Ostergaard, et. al @ U. S. Denmark


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Inoue, Pnumatic

Riken, Vertical


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Stochastic/Graph Grammars

  • No main actuation (external)

    • Klavins

    • Lipson

  • Latching

    • Magnets

    • Pressure differential in oil


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Chain Self-ReconfigurationPolyBot Generation 2 (G2), and 3 (G3)


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Polypod

UPenn superbot


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Conro, Shen/will @ ISI

Mtran, Murata et al


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Nilsson, Dragon


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1 DOF motion docking

Local self-collision detection

Higher stiffness dock

No singularities,

No mechanical advantage

Discrete motions

GeneralManipulation difficult

Unstructured environments difficult

6 DOF motion docking

Global self-collision detection

Lower stiffness dock

Singularities

Complicates control

Arbitrary motions

Lattice vs Chain

Lattice is easier for self-reconfiguration

Chain is easier for locomotion/manipulation


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Main drives:

  • Geared DC motors (most popular)

  • Magnetic

  • Pneumatic

  • None

    Not shown yet:

  • Combustive: easier if modules are large

  • Thermal (nuclear?): perhaps in space

  • Mechanochemical: does this exist?

  • Electrostatic: ok if small? High voltages

  • Molecular motors: if very tiny


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Latching mechanisms

  • Magnetic – issue: strength

  • Mechanical – issue: actuator (size (strength/speed))

  • Pneumatic – issue: valves, supply

  • Hydraulic – issue: valves, supply

    Not shown yet:

  • Electrostatic: ok if small? High voltages

  • Dry Adhesive: attach/detach motion?


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Stolen from:

Esbed Ostergaard

Thesis

U. Southern Denmark


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Questions

  • What are the important parameters for the motion part? What are the tradeoffs?

    • DOF?

    • Shape?

    • #of attachments

    • Workspace?

  • What are the important parameters for attaching/detaching mechanisms?


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What on earth are we going to do with these robots?

  • NASA program

    • It’s going to be more robust to send specialized machine per task

    • Multifunction cost savings vs capability

    • Space station repair

    • Mars exploration

    • Moon station (selfreplication)

  • Construction

    • Locomotion with manipulation

    • E.g. mine sensor support w/shoring

    • Building construction

    • Architecture

  • Exploration

    • Search and rescue

    • Undersea mining

    • Planetary mining

  • Shape only

    • Structures

    • Telepario

    • Shady robots

    • Programmable antennae

  • Research contribution for itself

  • On microscale

    • Self assembling chips (self-walking chips?)

    • Mechanical RSA (tiles form shapes to open locks)

    • Mechanical FPGA


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  • Shape vs function

    • 3 people do shape only

  • Fundamental assumptions(?)

  • Self

    • Organizing

    • Reconfiguring

    • Repairing

    • Funding 

  • Communities to relate to?

    • Complexity systems community

    • Nanoscience community (foundations of nanoscience)

  • Availability of low cost reliable hardware helps to enable robotics research

    • Common platform, (e.g. mote like)

  • Sources of funding?

    • DARPA, NSF, Europe, (Brad has money)

    • Japan Aist/TiTech last


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