Generalizing metamodules to simplify planning in modular robotic systems

D.J. Dewey, M.P. Ashley-Rollman, M. De Rosa, S.C. Goldstein, T.C. Mowry, Siddhartha Srinivasa, P. Pillai, and Jason Campbell
2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS '08), October, 2008, pp. 1338-1345.


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Abstract
In this paper we develop a theory of metamodules and an associated distributed asynchronous planner which generalizes previous work on metamodules for lattice-based modular robotic systems. All extant modular robotic systems have some form of non-holonomic motion constraints. This has prompted many researchers to look to metamodules, i.e., groups of modules that act as a unit, as a way to reduce motion constraints and the complexity of planning. However, previous metamodule designs have been specific to a particular modular robot. By analyzing the constraints found in modular robotic systems we develop a holonomic metamodule which has two important properties: (1) it can be used as the basic unit of an efficient planner and (2) it can be instantiated by a wide variety of different underlying modular robots, e.g., modular robot arms, expanding cubes, hex-packed spheres, etc. Using a series of transformations we show that our practical metamodule system has a provably complete planner. Finally, our approach allows the task of shape transformation to be separated into a planning task and a resource allocation task. We implement our planner for two different metamodule systems and show that the time to completion scales linearly with the diameter of the ensemble.

Notes
Number of pages: 8

Text Reference
D.J. Dewey, M.P. Ashley-Rollman, M. De Rosa, S.C. Goldstein, T.C. Mowry, Siddhartha Srinivasa, P. Pillai, and Jason Campbell, "Generalizing metamodules to simplify planning in modular robotic systems," 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS '08), October, 2008, pp. 1338-1345.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Srinivasa_2008_6304,
   author = "D.J. Dewey and M.P. Ashley-Rollman and M. De Rosa and S.C. Goldstein and T.C. Mowry and Siddhartha Srinivasa and P. Pillai and Jason Campbell",
   title = "Generalizing metamodules to simplify planning in modular robotic systems",
   booktitle = "2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS '08)",
   pages = "1338-1345",
   month = "October",
   year = "2008",
}