M-blocks: Momentum-driven, magnetic modular robots

John W. Romanishin, Kyle Gilpin, Daniela Rus
2013 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems  
In this paper, we describe a novel self-assembling, self-reconfiguring cubic robot that uses pivoting motions to change its intended geometry. Each individual module can pivot to move linearly on a substrate of stationary modules. The modules can use the same operation to perform convex and concave transitions to change planes. Each module can also move independently to traverse planar unstructured environments. The modules achieve these movements by quickly transferring angular momentum
more » ... lar momentum accumulated in a self-contained flywheel to the body of the robot. The system provides a simplified realization of the modular actions required by the sliding cube model using pivoting. We describe the principles, the unitmodule hardware, and extensive experiments with a system of eight modules.
doi:10.1109/iros.2013.6696971 dblp:conf/iros/RomanishinGR13 fatcat:dh32l5sxmreajo5fru2mls5g3i