M. Yim, W.-M. Shen, B. Salemi, D. Rus, M. Moll, H. Lipson, and E. Klavins, “Modular Self-reconfigurable Robot Systems: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future,” IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 14, no. 1, Mar. 2007.
The field of modular self-reconfigurable robotic systems addresses the design, fabrication, motion planning, and control of autonomous kinematic machines with variable morphology. Beyond conventional actuation, sensing, and control typically found in fixed-morphology robots, self-reconfigurable robots are also able to deliberately change their own shape by rearranging the connectivity of their parts in order to adapt to new circumstances, perform new tasks, or recover from damage. Over the last two decades, this field has advanced from proof-of-concept systems to elaborate physical implementations and simulations. The goal of this article is to outline some of this progress and identify key challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.