Modular robots are a kind of robots built from mechatronic modules, which can be assembled in many different ways allowing the modular robot to assume a wide range of morphologies and functions. An important question in modular robotics is to which degree modules should be heterogeneous. In this paper we introduce two contributing factors to heterogeneity namely morphological heterogeneity and sub-functional modularization. Respectively, the ideas are to create modules with significantly different morphologies and to spread sub-functionality across modules. Based on these principles we design and implement the Thor robot and evaluate it by participating in the ICRA Planetary Robotic Contingency Challenge. The Thor robot demonstrates that sub-functional modularity and morphological heterogeneity may increase the versatility of modular robots while reducing the complexity of individual modules, which in the longer term may lead to more affordable modular robots. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.
|Title of host publication||Intelligent Autonomous Systems 12 : Volume 1 Proceedings of the 12th International Conference IAS-12, held June 26-29, 2012, Jeju Island, Korea|
|Editors||Sukhan Lee, Hyungsuck Cho, Kwang-Joon Yoon, Jangmyung Lee|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|