FireAnt: A Modular Robot with Full-Body Continuous Docks

Petras Swissler, Michael Rubenstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nature offers many examples of organisms coming together to form self-assembling structures. The attachment methods these organisms employ allow them to grab onto others' bodies, often without need for specific alignment or orientation, an ability absent from most existing robotic self-assembling structures, which require complicated sensing and specific alignment. This paper presents FireAnt, a modular 2D robot that demonstrates full-body continuous docks, an attachment mechanism able to attach anywhere onto other robots at any orientation, eliminating the need for alignment mechanisms and complex sensors. Such docks allow FireAnt to climb over copies of itself, something critical to self-assembling structures. This paper first discusses the design of FireAnt before presenting test results that show the strength and reliability of the continuous docks and demonstrate FireAnt's ability to traverse an environment consisting of inert FireAnt robots. The work presented in this paper provides a docking mechanism that can minimize the mechanical complexity of modular robots and will allow the creation of swarms of rigid and adaptable self-assembling structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages6812-6817
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538630815
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2018
Event2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2018 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: May 21 2018May 25 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Conference

Conference2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2018
CountryAustralia
CityBrisbane
Period5/21/185/25/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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  • Cite this

    Swissler, P., & Rubenstein, M. (2018). FireAnt: A Modular Robot with Full-Body Continuous Docks. In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2018 (pp. 6812-6817). [8463146] (Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA.2018.8463146