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Self-Reconfigurable Modular Robotics

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Miniaturization Methods For Modular Robotics: External Actuation And Dielectric Elastomer Actuation, Paul J. White Aug 2011

Miniaturization Methods For Modular Robotics: External Actuation And Dielectric Elastomer Actuation, Paul J. White

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

A conventional robot with fixed form cannot change its morphology to respond to changes in its environment or suit a specific task. In contrast, a self-reconfigurable modular robot can rearrange its modules to adapt to a task or its environment. Module miniaturization would enable applications requiring fine resolution such as dexterous manipulation and accurate three-dimensional physical representation. As the module's actuators limit its minimum size, we present two novel methods for enabling module miniaturization: external actuation and dielectric elastomer actuation.

With external actuation, modules reconfigure using forces provided by a controlled environment rather than internal actuators. The environment imposes ...