Fresh juice


EPFL presented the next iteration of modular robots Mori

By combining its achievements in creating small triangular robots that can connect with each other, and swarming behavior of some biological species, the Mori3 robot can transform from two-dimensional triangles into almost any three-dimensional object.

The EPFL study, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, shows the promise of modular robotics for space travel.

"Our goal in creating Mori3 is to create a modular robot similar to origami, which can be assembled and disassembled at will, depending on the environment and the task at hand," says Jamie Pike, director of the Reconfigurable Robots laboratory. "Mori3 can change its size, shape and function."

The individual modules of the Mori3 robot have a triangular shape. The modules are easily connected to each other, creating polygons of various sizes and configurations in a process known as polygon meshing. "We have shown that polygonal gearing is a viable robotics strategy," says Christoph Boelcke, a postdoc and researcher in robotics.

To achieve this, the team had to expand the boundaries of various aspects of robotics, including mechanical and electronic design, computer systems and engineering.

"We had to rethink how we understand robotics," explains Boelcke. "These robots can change their own shape, attach to each other, communicate and change configuration, forming functional and articulated structures."

This proof of concept is successful because Mori3 robots perform well three things that robots should be able to do: move around, transport objects and interact with users.

What is the advantage of creating modular and multifunctional robots? Pike explains that in order to perform a wide range of tasks, robots must be able to change their shape or configuration. "Polygonal and polymorphic robots that connect to each other to create articulated structures can be effectively used for various tasks," she says.

"Of course, a general-purpose robot like Mori3 will be less efficient than specialized robots in certain areas. However, the main advantage of Mori3 is its versatility."

The Mori3 robots were designed in part for use in spaceships where there is no room to store different robots for each individual task that needs to be performed. The researchers hope that the Mori3 robots will be used for communication purposes and external repairs.

Share with friends:

Write and read comments can only authorized users