In the second episode of the Flexible Elements podcast we hear Michael Rubenstein talk about how he is developing software and hardware to address one of the biggest challenges in Self Re-Configuring Modular Robotics. How shall we handle the large number of robots that we need in Self Re-Configuring Modular Robotics? Controlling thousands of robots is hard, and doing so reliably and efficiently is even harder. Michael talks about building, managing and controlling 1024 robots.
There are naturally many challenges in doing something like this and many come from the sheer number of robots and how you can handle them. For instance: how do you turn 1024 robots on? You can’t really flip 1024 switches, and even if you could, adding a switch to each robot would be too expensive. He also talks about some interesting possibilities that his controlling algorithms gives, like self-healing.
I would like to thank Michael for the interview and I would also like to thank IEEE and ICRA 2010 for there assistance as this interview was recorded at ICRA 2010 in Anchorage, Alaska!
And as always, if you have any tips for futher shows drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
The show notes:
– Michael Rubenstein http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~mrubenst/
– Self-organizing systems research group http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/ssr/
– Michael’s thesis is a great read if you want to dig deeper in to self-assembly and self healing, self repair http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~mrubenst/thesis_rubenstein.pdf
– Radhika Nagpal http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~rad/
– Search for Kilobot: A Robotic Module for Demonstrating Behaviors in
a Large Scale (210 units) Collective by Michael Rubenstein and Radhika
Nagpal in Modular Robots: State of the Art at
– Wei Min Shen http://www.isi.edu/~shen/
– Scalable Self-Assembly and Self-Repair In A Collective Of Robots
– Michael Rubenstein, Wei-Min Shen
– Self-healing starfish
– The precision navigation is shown by one robot circling another
– More photos of ( among others) Michaels robots
– The successor of the processor used
– The small motors came from www.jameco.com/
– Other suppliers of the type of motor used is
– MICROMO http://www.micromo.com/
– Namiki http://www.namiki.net/product/kbo/index.html