Benoît Piranda

Benoît Piranda
Institut FEMTO-ST | FEMTO ST · Département Informatique des Systèmes Complexes (DISC)

PhD HDR
Distributed programming and robot design for Programmable Matter

About

82
Publications
10,555
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436
Citations
Introduction
I am Associate Professor (HDR) of Computer Science at the University of Franche-Comté (UFC) in France. I am part of the FEMTO-ST institute (UMR CNRS 6174). My current domains of research concern Programmable Matter and Distributed Programming. My recent works are focusing in the conception of a Quasi-Spherical micro-robot for the Programmable Matter, and distributed self-reconfiguration algorithms. I lead the development of "VisibleSim" software: a behavioral simulator of modular robots.
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - present
University of Franche-Comté
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2007 - present
University of Franche-Comté
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2000 - September 2007
Université Gustave Eiffel
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
September 1995 - September 1999
Université Gustave Eiffel
Field of study
  • Computer Sciences
September 1993 - September 1994
University of Franche-Comté
Field of study
  • Computer Science

Publications

Publications (82)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A modular robots is composed of many independent connected modules which are able to achieve common goals through communications. A modular self-reconfigurable robot can move and reorganize its modules to modify its shape. In this paper, we consider a modular self-reconfigurable robot made from cubic modules (blocks) that are able to slide along t...
Chapter
In this paper, we present a distributed Id assignment algorithm for modular robots. Our proposed solution supports both the removal and the addition of particles in the system, while maintaining particular characteristics in the logical tree, allowing for fast and efficient inter-module communications. The key goal here is to maintain easily calcul...
Chapter
Moving a module in a modular robot is a very complex and error-prone process. Unlike in swarm, in the modular robots we are targeting, the moving module must keep the connection to, at least, one other module. In order to miniaturize each module to few millimeters, we have proposed a design which is using electrostatic actuator. However, this movem...
Chapter
Robotics research needs complex hardware and software that is why simulation is often view as an alternative for testing. Large scale self-reconfiguring modular robotic systems needs a scalable simulation environment which cannot be physics-based.
Chapter
Full-text available
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...
Article
Simulation is one of the most important tools for robotics research, as it serves several crucial purposes such as prototyping, learning, avoiding dispensable hardware costs, or studying future systems that cannot be fabricated yet. Large scale self-reconfiguring modular robotic systems are an instance of such systems. Yet, current modular robotic...
Article
Full-text available
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 m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Moving a module in a modular robot is a very complex and error-prone process. Unlike in swarm, in the modular robots we are targeting, the moving module must keep the connection to, at least, one other module. In order to miniaturize each module to few millimeters, we have proposed a design which is using electrostatic actuator. However, this movem...
Conference Paper
Robotics research needs complex hardware and software that is why simulation is often view as an alternative for testing. Large scale self-reconfiguring modular robotic systems needs a scalable simulation environment which cannot be physics-based. This paper presents VisibleSim, an open-source behavioral simulator for lattice-based modular robots t...
Article
Full-text available
Shape-changing User Interfaces attract growing interest in Human-Computer Interaction. Modular robotics offer a great opportunity for their implementation. However, the current theoretical and technical advances of modular robotics are fragmented and little centered on the user. To unify existing work and center future research on the user, we perf...
Preprint
Full-text available
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 designed to be executed by the modular robot itself and is based on an distributed iterative solution of mechanical equilib...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Chapter
Modular robots are automated modules that can change their morphology self-sufficiently and progressively for control or reconfiguration purposes. Self-reconfiguration is a very challenging problem in modular robots systems. Existing algorithms are complex and not suitable for low resources devices. In this paper, we propose a parallel and fully di...
Article
Full-text available
The vision for programmable matter is to create a material that can be reprogrammed to have different shapes and to change its physical properties on demand. They are autonomous systems composed of a huge number of independent connected elements called particles. The connections to one another form the overall shape of the system. These particles a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper addresses the self-reconfiguration problem in large-scale modular robots for the purpose of shape formation for object representation. It aims to show that this process can be accelerated without compromising on the visual aspect of the final object, by creating an internal skeleton of the shape using the previously introduced sandboxing...
Article
Full-text available
The self-reconfiguration of large swarms of modular robotic units from one object into another is an intricate problem whose critical parameter that must be optimized is the time required to perform a transformation. Various optimizations methods have been proposed to accelerate transformations, as well as techniques to engineer the shape itself, s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Moving a module in a modular robot is a very complex and error-prone process. Unlike in swarm, in the modular robots we are targeting, the moving module must keep the connection to, at least, one other module. In order to miniaturize each module to few millimeters, we have proposed a design which is using electrostatic actuator. However, this movem...
Conference Paper
In the literature we can find many kinds of modular robot that can build a wide variety of structures. In general, finding an assembly order to reach the final configuration, while respecting the insertion constraints of each kind of modular robot is a difficult process that requires system-specific tuning. In this article, we introduce a generic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Distributed self-reconfiguration in large-scale modular robots is a slow process and increasing its speed a major challenge. In this article, we propose an improved and asynchronous version of a previously proposed distributed self-reconfiguration algorithm to build a parametric scaffolding structure. This scaffold can then be coated to form the de...
Article
Full-text available
While researchers envision exciting applications for metamorphic systems like programmable matter, current solutions to the shape formation problem are still a long way from meeting their requirements. To dive deeper into this issue, we propose an extensive survey of the current state of the art of self/reconfiguration algorithms and underlying mod...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of large distributed modular robots, self-reconfigura-tion is the process of having modules, seen as autonomous agents, acting together and moving to transform the morphology of their physical arrangement to produce a desired shape. However, due to motion constraints, the number of modules that can move concurrently is greatly limite...
Article
Full-text available
There are many ways to implement programmable matter. One is to build it as a huge modular self-reconfigurable robot composed of a large set of spherical micro-robots, like in the Claytronics project. These micro-robots must be able to stick to each other and move around each other. However, the shape of these micro-robots has not been studied yet...
Conference Paper
The design phase of a car development is a long and tedious process requiring a lot of trials and errors. In this paper, we introduce a new concept aiming at making this process easier and more interactive. Our solution mixes self-reconfigurable autonomous robots forming programmable matter and a shape-memory polymer surface that produces an intera...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Among the diversity of the existing modular robotic systems, we consider in this paper the subset of distributed modular robotic ensembles composed of resource-constrained identical modules that are organized in a lattice structure and which can only communicate with neighboring modules. These modular robotic ensembles form asynchronous distributed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A distributed modular robot is composed of many autonomous modules, capable of organizing the overall robot into a specific goal structure. There are two possibilities to change the morphology of such a robot. The first one, self-reconfiguration, moves each module to the right place, whereas the second one, self-assembly docks the modules at the ri...
Chapter
Modular robots form autonomous distributed systems in which modules use communications to coordinate their activities in order to achieve common goals. The complexity of distributed algorithms is generally expressed as a function of network properties, e.g., the number of nodes, the number of links and the radius/diameter of the system. In this pap...
Chapter
The aim of the Claytronics project is to build spherical micro-robots, called catoms for Claytronics atoms able to stick to each other and able to move around each other. An ensemble of catoms is therefore a huge modular self-reconfigurable robot. However, the shape of these catoms have not been studied yet and remains a difficult problem as there...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we propose the Modular Robot Time Protocol (MRTP), a network-wide time synchronization protocol for modular robots (a class of distributed embedded systems) with neighbor-to-neighbor communications and potentially low-precision clocks. Our protocol achieves its performance by combining several mechanisms: central time master election...
Article
Full-text available
Programmable matter can be seen as a huge modular robot in which each module can communicate to its connected neighbors and work all together to achieve a common goal, more likely changing the shape of the whole robot. However, when the number of modules increases, the memory used in each module to store the target shape or the computation time to...
Presentation
Full-text available
The aim of the Claytronics project is to build spherical micro-robots, called catoms for Claytronics atoms able to stick to each other and able to move around each other. An ensemble of catoms is therefore a huge modular self-reconfigurable robot. However, the shape of these catoms have not been studied yet and remains a difficult problem as there...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of the Claytronics project is to build spherical micro-robots, called catoms for Claytronics atoms able to stick to each other and able to move around each other. An ensemble of catoms is therefore a huge modular self-reconfigurable robot. However, the shape of these catoms have not been studied yet and remains a difficult problem as there...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Modular robots form autonomous distributed systems in which modules use communications to coordinate their activities in order to achieve common goals. The complexity of distributed algorithms is generally expressed as a function of network properties, e.g., the number of nodes, the number of links and the radius/diameter of the system. In this pap...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Modular self-reconfigurable robots are composed of independent connected modules which can self-rearrange their connectivity using processing, communication and motion capabilities, in order to change the overall robot structure. In this paper, we consider rolling cylindrical modules arranged in a two-dimensional vertical hexagonal lattice. We prop...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Programmable matter i.e. matter that can change its physical properties, more likely its shape according to an internal or an external action is a good example of a cybermatics component. As it links a cyberized shape to real matter, it is a straight example of cyber-physical conjugation. But, this interaction between virtual and real worlds needs...
Conference Paper
Many distributed algorithms require a specific role to be played by a leader, a single node in the system. The choice of this node often has a direct impact on the performance. In particular, selecting a central node as the leader can significantly improve algorithm efficiency. Classical distributed algorithms require global information about the c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we propose the Modular Robot Time Protocol (MRTP), a network-wide time synchronization protocol for modular robots. Our protocol achieves its performance by combining several mechanisms: central time master election, low-level time-stamping and clock skew compensation using linear regression. We evaluate our protocol on the Blinky Bl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Modular robots are composed of many independent connected modules which are able to achieve common goals through communications. Many distributed algorithms have better performance if the modules that have to communicate with all the others, are placed at the center of the system. In this paper, we propose ABC-Center, an iterative algorithm for ele...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The following report describes our work on clock synchronization protocol for embedded systems in the project COordination and COmputation in Distributed Intelligent MEMS (CO 2 Dim) [2] led by the Optimization, Mobility, NetworkIng (OMNI) team at Femto-ST. CO 2 Dim is a partnership project with the Institute for Research in IT and Random Systems (I...
Article
Full-text available
Modularity and self-healing are two interesting properties that could help to design more flexible conveyors of micro-objects. In the Smart Blocks project, we propose to design a 2D modular and self-reconfigurable robot composed of centimeter-scale sliding blocks that embed their own actuators and control electronics. This article presents a proof-...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The rise of the Internet of Things raises many challenges among which is the ability to efficiently simulate a real 3D environment with intelligent objects able to sense and act. Furthermore, the apparition of micro-objects able to communicate forces such as a simulator to scale up in the number of simulated nodes. In this paper, we report the prog...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Over the last decades, research on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) has focused on the engineering process which has led to major advances. Future challenges will consist in adding embedded intelligence to MEMS systems to obtain distributed intelligent MEMS. One intrinsic characteristic of MEMS is their ability to be mass-produced. This, howev...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the design, prototyping and control of a 2D modular and self-reconfigurable robot for conveying microparts. The elementary block is designed to have a package dimension under 1cm$^3$ and will include the actuators, the electronics and the micro-controller. Electro-permanent (EP) magnets are used for both the linkage and the tra...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the development of a very intuitive interface that allows viewing large urban environments using augmented reality. We detail the description and the capabilities of a natural interface allowing an intuitive navigation in the model. Using the metaphor of gravity, a gesture is used to navigate through the scene and change setting...
Article
Full-text available
Multimedia sensor networks have recently emerged thanks to the tremendous technological advances in multimedia hardware miniaturization and to the huge application potential they present. However, the voluminous and time sensitive nature of multimedia data makes them very problematic to handle, especially within constrained environments like those...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the architecture of a multimedia sensor network, especially dedicated to video surveillance. The founding ideas of our architecture are: (a) continuous 3D real-time reconstruction of the monitored area in which streams originated form video sensors are merged. (b) locating parts of data analysis/extraction tasks on the sensors t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article presents the luminaire’s near field photometry device developed at CSTB Labs. It is based on the acquisition of pairs (image, illuminance) on a hemisphere surrounding the luminaire. The sensor’s response is calibrated in the photometric space and the luminance samples are aggregated on an enclosing surface representing the luminaire.
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a new assessment method of the luminous light field around a luminaire. It is based on the acquisition of pairs (image, illuminance) from viewpoints on a hemispheric trajectory around the source. The data provide a dense sampling of the photometric field, smoothly interpolated by merging partial interpolants in the spatial and d...