We discuss a robotic module called a Molecule. Molecules can be the basis for building self-reconfiguring robots. They support multiple modalities of locomotion and manipulation. We describe the design, functionality, and control of the Molecule. We show how a set of Molecules can aggregate as active three-dimensional structures that can move and change… (More)
Mimicking the adaptability of living biological cells, robot modules will reconfigure themselves toward a common purpose within the limits imposed by the local environment.
We discuss a robotic system composed of Crystalline modules. Crystaline modules can aggregate together to form distributed robot systems. Crystalline modules can move relative to each other by expanding and contracting. This actuation mechanism permits automated shape metamorphosis. We describe the crystalline module concept and show the basic motions that… (More)
We have developed a new operator interface system for high-DoF articulated robots based on the idea of allowing the operator to extend the robot's actual kinematics with virtual articulations. These virtual links and joints can model both primary task DoF and constraints on whole-robot coordinated motion. Unlike other methods, our approach can be applied to… (More)
Newcombe and Izadi et al's KinectFusion  is an impressive new algorithm for real-time dense 3D mapping using the Kinect. It is geared towards games and augmented reality, but could also be of great use for robot perception. However, the algorithm is currently limited to a relatively small volume fixed in the world at start up (typically a ∼ 3m cube).… (More)
We discuss a physical implementation of the Crystalline robot system. Crystalline robots consist of modules that can aggregate together to form distributed robot systems. Crystalline modules are actuated by expanding and contracting each unit. This actua-tion mechanism permits automated shape metamorphosis. We describe the Crystalline module concept and a… (More)
1 Motivation Many large terrestrial structures—towers, bridges, construction scaffolds—are sparse assemblies of rigid bars connected together at structural nodes. This is also true of many in-space structures such as antennae, solar panel supports, and space-station members. A long-term application of truss climbing robots is automated assembly, repair, and… (More)
— This paper explores the space of active modular trusses, ranging from a passive truss with one independent active climbing module to fully self-reconfiguring dynamically controllable trusses comprised of active modules and passive struts. We describe a hardware design for truss climbing and present hierarchical algorithms for controlling hyper-redundant… (More)