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How morphology affects self-assembly in a stochastic modular robot


Miyashita, S; Kessler, M; Lungarella, M (2008). How morphology affects self-assembly in a stochastic modular robot. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2008), Pasadena, CA, USA, 19 May 2008 - 23 May 2008, 3533-3538.

Abstract

Self-assembly is a process through which an organized structure can spontaneously form from simple parts. Taking inspiration from biological examples of self-assembly, we designed and built a water-based modular robotic system consisting of autonomous plastic tiles capable of aggregation on the surface of water. In this paper, we investigate the effect of the morphology (here: shape) of the tiles on the yield of the self-assembly process, that is, on the final amount of the desired aggregate. We describe experiments done with the real system as well as with a computer simulation thereof. We also present results of a mathematical analysis of the modular system based on chemical rate equations which point to a power-law relationship between yield rate and shape. Using the real system, we further demonstrate how through a single parameter (here: the externally applied electric potential) it is possible to control the self-assembly of propeller-like aggregates. Our results seem to provide a starting point (a) for quantifying the effect of morphology on the yield rates of self- assembly processes and (b) for assessing the level of modular autonomy and computational resources required for emergent functionality to arise.

Abstract

Self-assembly is a process through which an organized structure can spontaneously form from simple parts. Taking inspiration from biological examples of self-assembly, we designed and built a water-based modular robotic system consisting of autonomous plastic tiles capable of aggregation on the surface of water. In this paper, we investigate the effect of the morphology (here: shape) of the tiles on the yield of the self-assembly process, that is, on the final amount of the desired aggregate. We describe experiments done with the real system as well as with a computer simulation thereof. We also present results of a mathematical analysis of the modular system based on chemical rate equations which point to a power-law relationship between yield rate and shape. Using the real system, we further demonstrate how through a single parameter (here: the externally applied electric potential) it is possible to control the self-assembly of propeller-like aggregates. Our results seem to provide a starting point (a) for quantifying the effect of morphology on the yield rates of self- assembly processes and (b) for assessing the level of modular autonomy and computational resources required for emergent functionality to arise.

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9 citations in Web of Science®
15 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:23 May 2008
Deposited On:12 Jan 2009 16:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:47
Publisher:IEEE Computer Society
ISSN:1050-4729
ISBN:978-1-4244-1646-2
Additional Information:This paper was presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2008), Pasadena, CA, USA, May 19 - 23, 2008. © 2008 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/ROBOT.2008.4543751
Official URL:http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=4543751
Related URLs:http://www.ifi.uzh.ch/pax/web/index.php/publication/show/id/896
http://icra2008.usc.edu/

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