Docking among independent and autonomous CONRO self-reconfigurable robots

Michael Rubenstein*, Kenneth Payne, Peter Will, Wei Min Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Docking between independent groups of self-reconfigurable robotic modules enables the merger of two or more independent self-reconfigurable robots. This ability allows independent reconfigurable robots in the same environment to join together to complete a task that Would otherwise not be possible with the individual robots prior to merging. The challenges for this task include (1) coordinate and align two independent self-reconfigurable robots using the docking guidance system available only at the connectors of the docking modules; (2) overcome the inevitable errors in the alignment by a novel and coordinated movements from both docking ends; (3) ensure the secure connection at the end of docking; (4) switch configuration and let modules to discover the changes and new connections so that the two docked robots will move as a single coherent robot. We have developed methods for overcome these challenging problems and accomplished for the first time an actual docking between two independent CONRO robots each with multiple modules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2877-2882
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004
EventProceedings- 2004 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Apr 26 2004May 1 2004


  • Autonomous docking
  • Compliant docking
  • Remote sensor alignement
  • Self-reconfigurable robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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