Modular Robot Testbed

by Chris Grasso, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Wayne Jermstad, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Mike Mathews, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Jane Pavlich, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Jim Avery, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Abstract: One approach to non-terrestrial construction involves the use of small, inexpensive, modular robots rather than expensive one-of-a-kind construction tools. The Modular Robots Testbed at the University of Colorado provides the means to test the software modularity and multi-robot control algorithms required for the physical manipulation of constructible elements. The testbed includes three circular, wheeled platforms. Each platform has mounted on it a high-precision positioning system, a simple manipulator, and internal/external local area digital network interfaces. Cooperation is implemented using control and data packets passed between robots and between robot components. The robots are not limited to teleoperation - they are allowed autonomous and semi-autonomous functionality to permit operation as an ensemble. The paper describes the components, software, and control strategies used in the testbed, and future expansions.

Subject Headings: Robotics | Construction equipment | Computer software | Construction management | Modular structures | Control systems | Colleges and universities | Algorithms

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