Design of a Modular Mobile Multi Robot System: ULGEN (Universal-Generative Robot)

ERCAN H., Boyraz P.

Asia-Pacific Conference on Intelligent Robot Systems (ACIRS), Tokyo, Japan, 20 - 22 July 2016, pp.8-15 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/acirs.2016.7556179
  • City: Tokyo
  • Country: Japan
  • Page Numbers: pp.8-15


This paper presents a chain type, homogenous, mobile and modular multi-robot system (ULGEN) with self-assembly, self-reconfigurability, localization and high mobility capabilities. The main goal of the work is to have high maneuverable modules which can travel autonomously to explore areas individually and change their configuration when encountering obstacles. Once the optimal path is found by any of the individual modules, the whole system can reassemble and follow that path. Five degrees of freedom and six active docking faces makes a single module adapt to different tasks, avoid obstacles, and reconfigure as a structure. A single module can achieve locomotion in crawler and differential drive modes on its wheels. The rotating central joint brings up different capabilities, such as - recovering itself when the module falls on its side, changing the locomotion type without reconfiguring the whole structure while switching from the skid-steering mode to 4-wheel steering mode or insect-like four-legged robot mode to mammal-like four-legged robot mode. In this paper, the hardware and software architectures are discussed. Locomotion types and possible configurations are modelled in a simulation environment. Finally, single module locomotion types are implemented on the prototype.