Enveloping obstacles with hexagonal metamorphic robots

Jennifer E. Walter, Elizabeth M. Tsai, Nancy Marie Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The problem addressed is the distributed reconfiguration of a metamorphic robot system composed of any number of two dimensional robots (modules). The initial configuration we consider is a straight chain of modules, while the goal configuration satisfies a simple admissibility condition. Our reconfiguration strategy depends on finding a contiguous path of cells, called a substrate path, that spans the goal configuration. Modules fill in this substrate path and then move along the path to fill in the remainder of the goal without collision or deadlock. In this paper, we address the problem of reconfiguration when a single obstacle is embedded in the goal environment. We introduce a classification for traversable surfaces which allows for coherence in defining admissibility characteristics for various objects in the hexagonal grid. We present algorithms to 1) determine if an obstacle embedded in the goal fulfills a simple-admissibility requirement, 2) include an admissible obstacle in a substrate path, and 3) accomplish distributed reconfiguration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-748
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
StatePublished - Dec 9 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event2003 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: Sep 14 2003Sep 19 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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