Date of Original Version

2000

Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

In the future, we propose that there will be largely self-sufficient robot colonies operating on distant planets and in harsh environments here on earth. A highly desirable quality of such a colony would be the capability of the robots to repair each other. Towards the goal of autonomous repair, we designed a robot that can replace the modules composing a similar robot. In this paper we highlight a visual docking system for the repairable robot design that allows the robots to autonomously replace their teammate’s modules. The primary contribution of this work lies in the application of known techniques to the more constraining platforms of very small robots. This forces the use of very simple hardware and algorithms that perform robustly. The results obtained consist of initial configurations from which the robots could successfully complete the docking operation and the average time required to dock.

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