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ElectroVoxels: Modular Self-reconfigurable Robots

The HCI Engineering Group works at the intersection of human computer interaction and personal fabrication tools. The group's long-term vision is that in the future anybody will be able to create anything anywhere anytime. Working towards this goal, the group builds novel hardware and software systems that advance personal fabrication technologies.

This paper introduces a cube-based reconfigurable robot that utilizes an electromagnet-based actuation framework to reconfigure in three dimensions via pivoting. While a variety of actuation mechanisms for self-reconfigurable robots have been explored, they often suffer from cost, complexity, assembly and sizing requirements that prevent scaled production of such robots. To address this challenge, we use an actuation mechanism based on electromagnets embedded into the edges of each cube to interchangeably create identically or oppositely polarized electromagnet pairs, resulting in repulsive or attractive forces, respectively.

Videos provided by CSAIL Alliances.

https://cap.csail.mit.edu/hci-engineering-group
Martin Nisser
PhD Student, HCI Engineering Group, MIT CSAIL

Consortium

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