The design of a representation and analysis method for modular self-reconfigurable robots

H. Y.K. LAU*, A. W.Y. KO, T. L. LAU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


For Modular Self-Reconfigurable (MSR) robots to successfully reconfigure themselves, the control system must have the robot's topological structure before, during and after the reconfiguration process. Therefore, the module's docking status such as the docking orientation and the availability of docking ports must be ascertained before self-configuration takes place. This paper presents a representation method, based on labelled planar graphs and incidence matrices to represent the topologic structure of a group of connected modules. Essential information such as the orientations of the docked joints and docking ports are obtained from the labelled graph for reconfiguration. An innovative Hardware Orientation Detecting System (HODS) is proposed for detecting the orientation between two docking ports, which can be applied to all multi-orientation docking systems. An analytical method is also presented to determine whether a structure has enough degrees-of-freedom to perform self-reconfiguration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-269
Number of pages12
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2007
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Graph Theory
  • Incidence matrices
  • Modular robots
  • Neutral docking
  • Robot topology
  • Self-reconfigurations


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