Modular robotics is a new and exciting research field offering many potentially useful applications. Their hidden power lies in their abilities to reconfigure in order to adapt to their environment, perform tasks with greater efficiency, repair themselves and replicate. Self-reconfiguration in modular robotics is however a hard problem to solve. We will introduce modular robots and share some interesting locomotion, self-reconfiguration and self-organization algorithms available in the literature. In this report, we will then study a new generation of modular robots designed by the BioRob (formerly BIRG) named Roombots. We will describe a new decentralized framework that allows them to move and self-reconfigure with near real-time competitive performances.
Master thesis report, final version. PDF