A distributed self-reconfiguration method is proposed which allows modular mechanical systems to realize various functions through self-assembly and self-repair. We have developed a totally decentralized system composed of many identical mechanical units. Owing to homogeneous structure, any unit can play any role in the whole system. The units are designed to change their configuration by using electro-magnetic force and to communicate with each other through optical communication channel. We have implemented the self-reconfiguration method in a distributed manner based on local communication, preserving homogeneity also in software aspect. The developed reconfiguration method enables the system to self-assemble desired shapes robustly without being trapped in deadlock states. Self-repair capability is also realized to recover the desired configuration when some units are lost or become faulty. Computer simulations and experiments are carried out to show its effectiveness.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Kikai Gijutsu Kenkyusho Shoho/Journal of Mechanical Engineering Laboratory|
|Publication status||Published - 1998 Sept|
- Distributed Algorithm
- Modular Mechanical System