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Robotics 2017, 6(4), 27; doi:10.3390/robotics6040027

HexaMob—A Hybrid Modular Robotic Design for Implementing Biomimetic Structures

Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani, K.K Birla Goa Campus, Goa, 403726, India
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Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract

Modular robots are capable of forming primitive shapes such as lattice and chain structures with the additional flexibility of distributed sensing. The biomimetic structures developed using such modular units provides ease of replacement and reconfiguration in co-ordinated structures, transportation etc. in real life scenarios. Though the research in the employment of modular robotic units in formation of biological organisms is in the nascent stage, modular robotic units are already capable of forming such sophisticated structures. The modular robotic designs proposed so far in modular robotics research vary significantly in external structures, sensor-actuator mechanisms interfaces for docking and undocking, techniques for providing mobility, coordinated structures, locomotions etc. and each robotic design attempted to address various challenges faced in the domain of modular robotics by employing different strategies. This paper presents a novel modular wheeled robotic design - HexaMob facilitating four degrees of freedom (2 degrees for mobility and 2 degrees for structural reconfiguration) on a single module with minimal usage of sensor-actuator assemblies. The crucial features of modular robotics such as back-driving restriction, docking, and navigation are addressed in the process of HexaMob design. The proposed docking mechanism is enabled using vision sensor, enhancing the capabilities in docking as well as navigation in co-ordinated structures such as humanoid robots. View Full-Text
Keywords: modular; robotics; reconfiguration; co-ordination; chain; hybrid; biomimetics modular; robotics; reconfiguration; co-ordination; chain; hybrid; biomimetics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

CH., S.S.R.; Patlolla, S.; Agrawal, A.; K. R., A. HexaMob—A Hybrid Modular Robotic Design for Implementing Biomimetic Structures. Robotics 2017, 6, 27.

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