Reconfiguring Modular Robots

Gregorinospoulos Aloupisidemuni, School of Computer Science, Carleton/Brussels

A modular robot consists of several identical individual components (modules) attached together. Groups of modules may co-operate to produce local or global reconfigurations of the robot shape. In this talk, I will discuss algorithmic issues in the reconfiguration of Telecube and Crystalline robots, whose components are shaped as cubes.

The total number of sufficient motions for any reconfiguration depends on the level of "physical realism" that is chosen to be modeled (e.g., bounds on physical strength or maximum velocity). Some of the recent bounds obtained are not yet tight, and thus present themselves as interesting open problems.