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Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Smarticles for Robotic Locomotion

New means of locomotion provide new options for robotic use.

Shape-Shifting Robot Built from 'Smarticles' Shows New Locomotion Strategy

Georgia Tech Research Horizons
September 18, 2019

Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) researchers have constructed a robot from smaller robots called smart active particles (smarticles) to explore a potential new approach to locomotion. Each three-dimensionally-printed two-armed smarticle flaps its appendages; five smarticles corralled in a circle can nudge each other to form a supersmarticle, which can move by itself. Adding a light or sound sensor enables the supersmarticle to move in response to stimulus and to become sufficiently controllable to navigate a maze. By providing mechanical control over very small robots, the smarticle architecture could eventually support a locomotion/control strategy for small shape-shifting machines. The U.S. Army has expressed interest in this research because it could lead to new robotic systems capable of changing shapes, modalities, and functions.  ... "

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