Shady3D: Self-Assembling Robot
This research introduces the concept of modular robots to reconcile this trade-off. Instead of a single, full-degree-of-freedom robot, multiple simpler modules can be used. A single module has fewer degrees of freedom than required for complete 3-D motion, but it can move in a 2-D plane and reach a goal position in many cases. If complete 3-D motion is necessary, multiple modules can connect to and cooperate with each other to reach a goal position and orientation. The robot we present is the extension of a specific truss-climbing application our group has been working on: window shading. This 2-D Shady robot concept has been extended to a 3-D truss climbing modular robot system called Shady3D The design of the 2-D Shady robot has been modified to be able to escape from a 2-D plane. Based on the modified design, robot hardware including both the mechanical parts and electronics has been developed. We have also developed low-level control algorithms that control joint rotation and gripper operation, and high-level planning algorithms that enable the robot to navigate in a 3-D truss structure.