Motion Generation for a Modular Robot
Eiichi Yoshida*, Satoshi Murata**, Akiya Kamimura*, Kohji Tomita*, Haruhisa Kurokawa*, and Shigeru Kokaji*
*Distributed System Design Research Group, Intelligent Systems Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-2-1 Namiki, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8564, Japan
**Department of Computational Intelligence and Systems Science, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 226-8502 Japan
We discuss motion generation of a homogeneous modular robot called a Modular Transformer (M-TRAN). Modules are designed to be self-reconfigurable so a collection of modules can transform itself into a robotic structure. The motion generation of the self-reconfigurable robot presents a computationally difficult problem due to the many combinatorial possibilities for the module configuration, even though the module itself is simple, with 2 degrees of freedom. We describe a motion generation for a class of multimodule structures based on a motion planner and a motion scheduler. The motion planner has 2 layers, with a global planner to plan overall movement of the cluster and a local planner to determine locally coordinated module motions, called motion schemes. After motion is generated as a sequence of single motion schemes, the motion scheduler processes the output plan to allow parallel motions to improve efficiency. The effectiveness of the motion generator is verified through a multiple-module simulation.
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