Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision
(CS 528)

Self Reconfigurable Robotics

Mark Yim
Palo Alto Research Center Monday, Oct. 6, 2003, 4:15PM
TCSeq 200


Modular Reconfigurable Robots are robots built from many copies of a few simple module types (similar to Lego bricks, or cells in mammals). A Self-Reconfiguring Robot can change its shape by rearranging it's own modules -- "morph" to meet the demands of changing tasks and environments. As the number of modules increases from tens to hundreds to thousands, these systems show promise of great versatility, robustness and low cost.

This area of robotics has been growing with a variety of researchers and robot platforms. We will talk about several of the systems developed at the Palo Alto Research Center and elsewhere with videos of a variety of locomotion and manipulation tasks as well as some issues in robustness and self-repair, docking of modules, and scaling up the numbers. These problems are rich in interesting problems including: distributed computation and control, modular design, reconfiguration planning, motion planning, and others.

About the Speaker

Mark Yim is a senior member of the research staff, manager of the Smart Electro-Mechanical Systems Area at the Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC). This group focuses on creating novel capabilities by tightly coupling actuation, sensing and intelligence in modular reconfigurable systems. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1994 under Jean-Claude Latombe and has published in the areas of planning, distributed robotics, robots for search and rescue, optimal control, robotics in education, virtual reality and haptics. Dr. Yim has authored over 40 patents and has been chosen as a World Technology Fellow by the World Technology Network and as a member of the TR100 by Technology Review Magazine. His work on MEMS and robotics has been featured in a variety of popular press (New York Times, MSNBC, ABC and CBS News, USA Today, Science, The Economist and various other local and international news media)


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