Paper by Erik D. Demaine

Greg Aloupis, Sébastien Collette, Mirela Damian, Erik D. Demaine, Dania El-Khechen, Robin Flatland, Stefan Langerman, Joseph O'Rourke, Val Pinciu, Suneeta Ramaswami, Vera Sacristán, and Stefanie Wuhrer, “Realistic Reconfiguration of Crystalline (and Telecube) Robots”, in Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR 2008), Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, volume 57, Guanajuato, México, December 7–9, 2008, pages 433–447.

In this paper we propose novel algorithms for reconfiguring modular robots that are composed of n atoms. Each atom has the shape of a unit cube and can expand/contract each face by half a unit, as well as attach to or detach from faces of neighboring atoms. For universal reconfiguration, atoms must be arranged in 2 × 2 × 2 modules. We respect certain physical constraints: each atom reaches at most unit velocity and (via expansion) can displace at most one other atom. We require that one of the atoms can store a map of the target configuration.

Our algorithms involve a total of O(n2) such atom operations, which are performed in O(n) parallel steps. This improves on previous reconfiguration algorithms, which either use O(n2) parallel steps [7, 9, 4] or do not respect the constraints mentioned above [1]. In fact, in the setting considered, our algorithms are optimal, in the sense that certain reconfigurations require Ω(n) parallel steps. A further advantage of our algorithms is that reconfiguration can take place within the union of the source and target configurations.

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The paper is 16 pages.

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Related papers:
Crystalline_ISAAC2008 (Reconfiguration of Cube-Style Modular Robots Using O(log n) Parallel Moves)
Crystalline_CGTA (Linear Reconfiguration of Cube-Style Modular Robots)

See also other papers by Erik Demaine.
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Last updated July 25, 2017 by Erik Demaine.