Scale-Independent Motion Planning for Modular Robots

Scale-Independent Motion
Planning for Modular Robots
Given an extremely large ensemble of robots in a 2-D array, how can we
program them to form interesting macroscale shapes?
We have created a distributed algorithm for shape formation that requires
orders of magnitude less time than traditional motion-planning approaches.
Hole Movement, Creation, and Deletion
Intern: Michael De Rosa
Regularly shaped
holes move through
the object, reflecting
off of holes and edges
To raise the contour of
the surface, holes are
Mentor: Jason Campbell
To lower the contour of
the surface, holes are
captured and consumed
Surface Smoothing
Surface roughness is reduced via a “gravity” based collapse algorithm,
derived from the Oslo model [Frette 96]
All hole operations and smoothing are performed purely via local interactions
Macroscale Shape Planning
Offline, the non-intersecting regions of the source and target shapes are
triangulated to form regions. The target shape and the regions are the
only inputs to the system.
Transformation from
a square to a Tee
~4000 robots
98% compliance
after 970 timesteps
Research at Intel
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