MoleMOD explores the use of in-house developed self-reconfigurable modular robotic system in civil construction activities and investigates a concept where an arbitrary Civil Engineering structure or a daily use industrial product are self-assembled from a number of self-reconfigurable composite blocks. The system extends the current range of modular robot systems where autonomous modules self-assemble into a wide variety of forms. However, contrary to conventional modular robot systems, MoleMOD has not mechatronic actuating parts permanently fixed to each individual module. The MoleMOD actuators are separable and operate inside the modules, join them together or relocate them to the required configuration. It significantly reduces the number of expensive mechatronics parts and the environment the actuators operate. Although MoleMOD focuses on architecture, it can take over other robotic tasks as research and rescue.
MoleMOD in fact has material features, but contrary to traditional understanding it is designed to fulfill the above requirements. The split of the system to passive and active parts gave a name to the whole system, Mole (animal) + MOD (module). Furthermore, Mole is used for the active part (detachable semi-soft robot) and MOD for the passive part (modular building block). The site – specific construction of MoleMOD is the assembly of Moles and MODs. Each MOD has a minimum one tunnel, which usually leads through it. In the tunnels the Moles operate and fix and move with Mods, which become active as in existing modular robotic systems. The system offers extensive possibilities of reconfiguration and adaptation as well as material design. Although pilot design respects rectangular grid module (30 x 30 x 30cm), dimensions, grid shape, robot actuators, robot design, connections can vary.
Year: 2016 -now
Status: In process
Author: Jan Petrš
Supervisor: Miloš Florián
Institutes: ČVUT, Uni Stuttgart