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JRM Vol.16 No.3 pp. 278-285
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2004.p0278
(2004)

Paper:

Emergent Behaviors of a Linear Cluster Robot System: Enclosing and Molding by CA Method

Sumiaki Ichikawa*, Kentaro Suzuki**, and Fumio Hara**

*Tokyo University of Science, Suwa, 5000-1 Toyohira, Chino-shi, Nagano-ken 391-0292, Japan

**Tokyo University of Science, 1-3 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Received:
October 20, 2003
Accepted:
December 16, 2003
Published:
June 20, 2004
Keywords:
modular robot, emergent behavior, cluster robot, reconfigurable robot, formation, molding
Abstract

This paper discusses emergent abilities of a cluster robot system and the design methodology of an algorithm for a behavior of the cluster robot system. A cluster robot system is an aggregation of simple robot modules, each including a locomotive device and several range sensors, that are interconnected by passive joints. Each robot module performs one of four types of behaviors, approaching, avoiding, staying, and complying. A cluster robot system can be designed from robot modules of same or mixed types. A cluster robot system interacts dynamically with its environment and other robot modules. A cluster robot system configured in a specific order of same or mixed types robot modules exhibits a speicific behavior according to that configuration. That is, a configuration of robot modules is an algorithm for a behavior of a cluster robot system. We call a configuration of robot modules a “Configuration Algorithm (CA)” and this design method by CA the “CA Method.” We assign a cluster robot a set of tasks, self-formation, enclosing an object, and molding an object. We experimentally demonstrate that emerging task abilities in a cluster robot system depend on the CA. The cluster robot interacts, for example, with an initially linear yielding object, then forms a stack of the object by our introduced emergent behaviors, pushing, wiping, buckling, and rolling-up. In another example, a cluster robot gathers all discrete objects within a large area based on the body size of the cluster robot.

Cite this article as:
Sumiaki Ichikawa, Kentaro Suzuki, and Fumio Hara, “Emergent Behaviors of a Linear Cluster Robot System: Enclosing and Molding by CA Method,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.16, No.3, pp. 278-285, 2004.
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References
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Last updated on Oct. 28, 2021