Modular e-puck Extension

Lachlan Murray, Jon Timmis, and Andy Tyrrell

 

The modular e-puck extension is a structural extension for the e-puck robot that transforms what is a swarm robotics platform into a self-reconfigurable modular robotic system.

This website provides access to videos of the extension in use, a list of publications that feature the extension, and links to the resources necessary for manufacturing the extension yourself.

For further information please contact Lachlan Murray.

2012

Self-reconfigurable Modular e-pucks
Lachlan Murray, Jon Timmis and Andy Tyrrell
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Swarm Intelligence, ANTS, (2012). BibTex

Abstract: We present the design of a new structural extension for the e-puck mobile robot. The extension may be used to transform what is a swarm robotics platform into a self-reconfigurable modular robotic system. As a proof of concept, we present an algorithm for controlling the collective locomotion of a group of e-pucks that are equipped with the extension. Our approach proves itself to be an effective method of coordinating the movement of a group of physically connected e-pucks. Furthermore, the system shows robustness in its ability to self-reconfigure and self-assemble following a disruption which alters the group's structure.

Designs

The designs for the modular e-puck extension are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

The extension consists of three main structural segments (pictured right). The designs for each of the three parts may be downloaded as .dwg or .stl files.

Base plate [ stl | dwg ]

Central frame [ stl | dwg ]

Top cover [ stl | dwg ]

The parts have been successfully printed on a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. For the highest quality results, minor alterations to the designs may be required when utilising other forms of rapid prototyping.

To assemble the complete extension three 15mm hexagonal spacers, three M2 12mm set screws, and eight 6x2mm Neodymium disc magnets are required.

Code

Example code for controlling e-pucks equipped with the extension will be made available in the future. For further information please contact Lachlan Murray.

Environment Driven Self-reconfiguration

A demonstration of environment driven self-reconfiguration, using the modular e-puck extension.

Future Work

A video of some of the ongoing and future work to be carried out with the modular e-puck extension.

Collective Locomotion

Groups of two, three and four robots demonstrating collective locomotion with the modular e-puck extension.

Self-assembly

Three modules equipped with the modular e-puck extension, performing collective self-assembly (6x speed).

Stationary Alignment

A video demonstrating two different approaches to stationary alignment using the modular e-puck extension.

Two Module Collective Locomotion

Two modules equipped with the modular e-puck extension, performing collective locomotion with obstacle avoidance (6x speed).

Three Module Collective Locomotion

Three modules equipped with the modular e-puck extension, performing collective locomotion with obstacle avoidance (6x speed).

Four Module Collective Locomotion

Four modules equipped with the modular e-puck extension, performing collective locomotion with obstacle avoidance (6x speed).