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PolyBot: A modular reconfigurable robot


Modular, self-reconfigurable robots show the promise of great versatility, robustness and low cost. This paper presents examples and issues in realizing those promises. PolyBot is a modular, self-reconfigurable system that is being used to explore the hardware reality of a robot with a large number of interchangeable modules. PolyBot has demonstrated the versatility promise, by implementing locomotion over a variety of terrain and manipulation versatility with a variety of objects. PolyBot is the first robot to demonstrate sequentially two topologically distinct locomotion modes by self-reconfiguration. PolyBot has raised issues regarding software scalability and hardware dependency and as the design evolves the issues of low cost and robustness will be resolved while exploring the potential of modular, self-reconfigurable robots.


Yim, M .; Duff, D. G. ; Roufas, K. D. PolyBot: A modular reconfigurable robot. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2000). 2000 April 24-28; San Francisco, CA. Piscataway NJ: IEEE; 2000; 514-520.