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Modular Robotics

Modular Robotics

Modular robotics is about designing robotic systems that consist of simple modules that can adapt their configuration or change the way they combine to perform tasks. While adaptation can be limited to a specific range of tasks, many of the researchers in this field are working on systems that can “self-repair” and even “self-reconfigure”.

Modular Robots – [youtube.com]
A video from “The Gadget Show” exhibits a modular robot device that can move like a snake and another one that can re-assemble itself when it is broken into pieces.

Self-Reconfigurable Robots – [duke.edu/~sgs/robots]

Robots are self-reconfigurable if they are able to independently change their shape and structure (no human intervention). The typical design for these robots is to have many small atomic parts, called modules, which combine together in different ways to give the robot its structure and allow it to perform actions.

Molecubes For Everyone – [molecubes.org]

We, the Molecubes team, would like to boost the rate of progress in modular robotics, so we all could see more useful, cheap, and interesting robots around. To achieve this goal, we have designed and built a complete modular robotic system called Molecubes, and, through this wiki, we are freely giving away all the knowledge that we accumulated during the process of its design, construction, programming and operation. This website will provide you with all design files, instructions, software, and firmware that we developed. This knowledge will help you to build your own low cost, open source, ruggedized and expandable modular robotic system.

Unnatural selection: Robots start to evolve – [newscientist.com]

So artificial intelligence engineer Christopher MacLeod and his colleagues at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, UK, created a robot that adapts to such changes by mimicking biological evolution. “If we want to make really complex humanoid robots with ever more sensors and more complex behaviours, it is critical that they are able to grow in complexity over time – just like biological creatures did,” he says.

As animals evolved, additions of small groups of neurons on top of existing neural structures are thought to have allowed their brain complexity to increase steadily, he says, keeping pace with the development of new limbs and senses. In the same way, Macleod’s robot’s brain assigns new clusters of “neurons” to adapt to new additions to its body.

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