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Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots

Researchers at MIT’s CSAIL HCI Engineering Group have developed modular cube-based self-reconfigurable robots named ElectroVoxel that use electromagnet-powered actuation embedded into each cube’s edge to reconfigure in three dimensions via pivoting.

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Self-reconfiguring modular robots on an air table. Image credit: MIT’s CSAIL HCI Engineering Group

In the experiment, they used three-dimensional self-reconfigurable robots and showed 2D and 3D self-reconfiguration using pivot and traversal maneuvers on an air table and in microgravity on a parabolic flight.

Self-Reconfigurable Robots_flight
Self-reconfigurable cube robots in microgravity. Image credit: MIT’s CSAIL HCI Engineering Group
Self-Reconfigurable Robots_flight 2
Self-reconfigurable cube robots in microgravity. Image credit: MIT’s CSAIL HCI Engineering Group

The outcome of this research titled “ElectroVoxel: Electromagnetically Actuated Pivoting for Scalable Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots” is to appear in proceedings of ICRA ’22.

Watch a short video of their research below:

More information:

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