Coordinated Lego Segways as a Basis for Self-Reconfigurable Robots
Self-reconfigurable robots provide a future for robotics by being able to modify and change their physical shape to suit their current operational need. These robots show promise for future applications, designed to be robust and versatile and capable of achieving multiple tasks. This project is creating software architectures for the design of coordinated self-reconfigurable robots and carrying out initial research into the capabilities of such robots using LEGO Mindstorms technology. Key characteristics of self-reconfigurable robots are their ability to communicate and synchronise between multiple systems, perform numerous tasks simultaneously and adapt their behaviour to suit their current operational environment. This project has designed the initial framework required to achieve such a robot. In particular it has focussed on the areas of communication and synchronisation of multiple robots to provide them with the means of joint tasking and joint decision making, the implementation of a behavioural system that allows the robot to make its own decisions and adapt to changes in its environment and parallel programming to allow all these systems to run simultaneously. A framework for keeping two balancing robots at a set distance from each other when travelling in a straight line has also been implemented. In 2009 this project has supported an Honours level fourth year electrical engineering project and has also resulted in a successful UNSW@ADFA Research Training Scholarship to continue in 2010.