Collective Robot Construction of Discrete Lattice Structures

My research focuses on robotic construction of discrete lattice structures. Once we have individual robotic construction, we will want to look at collaborative construction with multiple robots.


                 Collective robot behavior is a well-researched topic. Collective robot construction, less so.





                -Interesting things to address include

                    -resource allocation

                    -centralized v decentralized construction strategies

                    -dynamics of robots (with mass) walking around on the structure as its being built

    progress update (3/23)

               In thinking about the swarm construction environment/simulator, here's what the GUI could look like

        i have recently been interested in the dynamics of the structure and the robot as it builds the structure. this is a fairly unexplored topic. most climbing robots consider their structure to be A) rigid, and B) fixed.

        For space construction, both (A) and (B) aren't necessarily true. Most space structures are optimized for mass, and therefore at large scale become flexible. Further, all space structures are not necessarily fixed. They are technically floating in microgravity, and their orientaiton, position, and direction of travel is governed by spaceship controls (ie: propulsion).

        Therefore, a second topic would look at these (comparatively) smaller scale interactions. While (A) is indeed interesting, it will be more tractable to look at (B) and only consider rigid body motions. The design tool/simulator would then investigate how a robot with much greater mass than the structure it is building would alter the center of gravity (CG) of the structure, and how that would result in rotation of the structure in 2D (for now) space.

Here's a sketch:

Moving CM/CG on different structure geometries

Conservation of angular momentum in a closed system

Here is an interesting paper:
"Coordinated Control of Space Robot Teams for the On-Orbit Construction of Large Flexible Space Structures"

            progress update (4/25)

                           I've been busy for the past couple weeks doing animations for a collaboration with NASA, but they are very relevant to the class project, in that basically I made animations of what the class project will do in an interactive way: