Fig 5 - available via license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

Content may be subject to copyright.

# Blinky Blocks: functional ones (left and right), and two pieces of a dismantled one with a top view of the motherboard (in the middle).

Source publication

We present a distributed framework for predicting whether a planned reconfiguration step of a modular robot will mechanically overload the structure, causing it to break or lose stability under its own weight. The algorithm is executed by the modular robot itself and based on a distributed iterative solution of mechanical equilibrium equations deri...

## Contexts in source publication

**Context 1**

... in a simplified manner, by finding the maximum number of Blinky Blocks that their magnets could hold hanging in a vertical alignment. The top/bottom and lateral connection strengths differ because the former is produced by a Legolike system reinforced with a central magnet, and the latter by 4 magnets placed in the corners of each face; see also Fig. ...

**Context 2**

... a simplified manner, by finding the maximum number of Blinky Blocks that their magnets could hold hanging in a vertical alignment. The top/bottom and lateral connection strengths differ because the former is produced by a Lego-like system reinforced with a central magnet, and the latter by four magnets placed in the corners of each face; see also Fig. ...

## Similar publications

In this paper, we propose a continuous-time distributed algorithm for the dynamic quantile problem. The problem is to find the quantile of time-varying signals in a network of agents, each of which having the signal of its own. For example, this problem includes finding the median, maximum, or the second largest value of the signals. The proposed a...

Full-duplex relaying is an enabling technique of sixth generation (6G) mobile networks, promising tremendous rate and spectral efficiency gains. In order to improve the performance of full-duplex communications, power control is a viable way of avoiding excessive loop interference at the relay. Unfortunately, power control requires channel state in...

In centralized approaches for the network-constrained unit commitment problem, the dominant way to formulate the linearized power flow problem is based on sensitivity factors such as power transfer distribution factors (PTDF formulation), instead of using phase-angle variables (b-theta formulation). The PTDF formulation enables various exploits of...

This paper addresses the problem of resilient average consensus in the presence of Byzantine agents in multi-agent networks. An event-triggered secure acceptance and broadcasting algorithm is proposed in which full knowledge of the network and high computational capabilities of each regular node are not required. The computational expense and commu...

The network size is rapidly growing and providing many opportunities to examine networking data (graph data). The structural clustering algorithm (SCAN) builds the cluster for a given graph and extracts boundaries, links, and outliers. The traditional algorithms are either centralized or exploits thread-level parallelism. These algorithms fail for...

## Citations

... When the applied magnetic field is not aligned with the magnetization direction of the hard-magnetic particles, the induced magnetic torque acts to align the particle's magnetization direction with the applied field, leading to deformation of the HMAE composite. The remote and reversible shape-transformative behavior of HMAEs has enabled functionalities in areas such as soft robotics (Cui et al., 2019;Hu et al., 2018), biomedicine (Wang et al., 2021), mechanical metamaterials (Chen et al., 2021), self-assembly and self-organization (Piranda et al., 2021), and actuation (Bowen et al., 2015;Crivaro et al., 2016). To describe the behavior of the materials, Zhao et al. (2019) proposed a phenomenological model for ideal HMAEs. ...

We study the magneto-mechanical behavior of periodic laminates made of hard-magnetic active elastomers (HMAEs). We formulate the amended free-energy function for HMAEs, and derive an explicit expression for the induced deformation of the HMAE laminate as a function of the applied magnetic field. Next, we employ the “small-on-large” framework and examine the small-amplitude shear waves propagating in the finitely deformed HMAE laminate in a magnetic field.
We find that the remanent magnetization of HMAE phases can result in compressive deformations (in the direction of the applied magnetic field), as opposed to the induced tensile deformation in previously considered soft-magnetic active laminates. Further, we derive the dispersion relations for the transverse elastic waves propagating in the direction perpendicular to the layers. We use the analytical results to illustrate the tunability of the shear wave band gaps with varying remanent magnetizations of the phases; moreover, the shear wave band gaps can be actively controlled by a remotely applied magnetic field.

... This simulator really executes C++ codes that are ran by each module (we call them Block Codes) and simulates the real world, including point to point communications VisibleSim has been evaluated with many kinds of robots, some of them exist in real and then allow to compare real and simulated value. For example, experiments in previous works [9] shows the very good capability of VisibleSim to simulate real distributed programs running in real Blinky Blocks robots. ...

The creation of current assembly lines can benefit from the new advances made in the fields of Computer Science and the Internet of Things (IoT) to increasetheir flexibility and improve their reliability. There are assembly line simulators developed for this purpose. However, these simulators have been designed to model every detail of the line and take hours to be done. The aim of this paper is to introduce a faster and more accurate computer-based solution - ManufactSim- allowing the simulation of a real production system. This implementation derives from a behavioral modular robots simulator enhanced with a 3D display option. The results show that ManufactSim’s performances are above the standards with an execution time less than 11 seconds for 8 hours shift running on a CAD computer. Our developed solution is able to face this challenge with a highly accurate and efficient simulator without compromise. The performed benchmarks show that we obtain a robust and agile tool needed for a global future solution based on Machine Learning. The benefits of this contribution will permit to automate the generation of industrial assembly lines while caring on multiple optimization criteria.

... Considering the reconfiguration of Programmable Matter as a large-scale case, the simulator VisibleSim has been used to predict whether each planned reconfiguration step of a modular robot will mechanically overload the structure. This model considers intermodular connections to be beams and assumes no-sliding contact between the modules and the ground, and was physically verified in small scale using the modular robotic system ''Blinky Blocks'' [68]. The concept of ''Cellular Automata'' has also been used as a guide for reconfiguration strategies in a simulated three-dimensional modular lattice where the desired configuration was ''grown'' from an initial seed module that produces growth by creating a gradient in the system [69]. ...

This paper presents a review of modular and reconfigurable space robot systems intended for use in orbital and planetary applications. Modular autonomous robotic systems promise to be efficient, versatile, and resilient compared with conventional and monolithic robots, and have the potential to outperform traditional systems with a fixed morphology when carrying out tasks that require a high level of flexibility. Based on a set of fundamental concepts in modular self-reconfiguring robotics, advances in applying modular self-organizing robotics technologies to aerospace applications and space mission concepts are summarized for the purpose of identifying relevant requirements and solutions. Based on this survey, critical guidelines for the implementation of in space assembly and operation using modular autonomous robotic systems are identified.

... This previous work did not consider the stability or robustness of the structures generated. Recent work in [11], [12] examined the forces between individual components and evaluated if a structure of module robots would be stableif it would topple or collapse under its own weight, especially during the process of reconfiguration. ...

This paper examines a family of designs for magnetic cubes and counts how many configurations are possible for each design as a function of the number of modules. Magnetic modular cubes are cubes with magnets arranged on their faces. The magnets are positioned so that each face has either magnetic south or north pole outward. Moreover, we require that the net magnetic moment of the cube passes through the center of opposing faces. These magnetic arrangements enable coupling when cube faces with opposite polarity are brought in close proximity and enable moving the cubes by controlling the orientation of a global magnetic field. This paper investigates the 2D and 3D shapes that can be constructed by magnetic modular cubes, and describes all possible magnet arrangements that obey these rules. We select ten magnetic arrangements and assign a "colo"' to each of them for ease of visualization and reference. We provide a method to enumerate the number of unique polyominoes and polycubes that can be constructed from a given set of colored cubes. We use this method to enumerate all arrangements for up to 20 modules in 2D and 16 modules in 3D. We provide a motion planner for 2D assembly and through simulations compare which arrangements require fewer movements to generate and which arrangements are more common. Hardware demonstrations explore the self-assembly and disassembly of these modules in 2D and 3D.

In this paper, we present a reconfiguration algorithm for shape-shifting modular robots with a triangular structure. The algorithm is derived from a novel description of the configuration space based on extended binary trees. Extended binary trees representing the same configuration are grouped into equivalence classes, which allows for a one-to-one correspondence between a configuration and its mathematical representation. Reconfiguration is then accomplished by a successive construction of the goal configuration, realized by moving individual modules along the surface of the robot and building up the binary tree of the goal configuration by populating unoccupied binary tree indices in ascending order with new modules. The algorithm is capable of solving the self-reconfiguration problem for modular robots with a triangular structure in O(n2) reconfiguration steps and is demonstrated on two reconfiguration examples. We then discuss the limits of the proposed methods, regarding constraints on the implementation and the lack of efficient collision avoidance, and outline possible resolutions.

Programmable matter based on modular self-reconfigurable robots could stand as the ultimate form of display system, through which humans could not only see the virtual world in 3D, but manipulate it and interact with it through touch. These systems rely on self-reconfiguration processes to reshape themselves and update their representation, using methods that we argue, are currently too slow for such applications due to a lack of parallelism in the motion of the robotic modules.
Therefore, we propose a novel approach to the problem, promising faster and more efficient self/reconfigurations in programmable matter display systems. We contend that this can be achieved by using a dedicated platform supporting self-reconfiguration named a sandbox, acting as a reserve of modules, and by engineering the representation of objects using an internal scaffolding covered by a coating.
This paper introduces a complete view of our framework for realizing this approach on quasi-spherical modules arranged in a face-centered cubic lattice. After thoroughly discussing the model, motivations, and making a case for our method, we synthesize results from published research highlighting its benefits and engage in an honest and critical discussion of its current state of implementation and perspectives.