Nov 10, 2020

Magnetic FreeBOT balls make giant leap for robotics

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A unique type of modular self-reconfiguring robotic system has been unveiled. The term is a mouthful, but it basically refers to a robotic enterprise that can construct itself out of modules that connect to one another to achieve a certain task.

There has been great interest in such machines, also referred to as MSRRs, in recent years. One recent project called simply Space Engine can construct its own physical space environment to meet living, work and recreational needs. It accomplishes those tasks by generating its own kinetic forces to move and shape such spaces. It does this through adding and removing electromagnets to shift and construct modules into optimum room shapes.

MSRRs nevertheless face some constraints. They require gender-opposite components, which is limiting in some circumstances, and the modules must coordinate trajectories to efficiently connect components during self-assembly operations. Those tasks are time consuming and the success rates for connections between modules haven’t consistently been high.

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