Self-reconfigurable robots

Satoshi Murata, Haruhisa Kurokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Citations (Scopus)


A self-reconfigurable robot is a cellular robot capable of adapting its shape and functions to changing environments and demands. Its basic component is a robotic module capable of computation. These modules can rearrange their mutual mechanical connection to change the robot's outward features. With the ability of transforming themselves into different shapes, SR robots can exceed their conventional counterparts in multifunctionality, flexibility and robustness. At present, there are three types of SR robots. The most common are "lattice types" followed by chain robots. However, these two SR types have drawbacks resulting from their structure. In view of this, a third type has been proposed, a hybrid-type SR robot called M-TRAN (modular transformer). Although initial data are encouraging, much needs to be done to solve other issues facing SR robotics, among them hardware issues, control system issues and algorithm issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar


  • Evolutionary robotics
  • Modular robotics
  • Self-assembly
  • Self-reconfigurable robots
  • Self-repair
  • Shape shifting


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