We have been studying on distributed mechanical systems, composed of many identical units.
They use local communication to decide their behavior, and they can also reconfigure
Owing to its homogeneous structure, the system is capable of self-assembly and self-repair. Starting form an arbitrary initial state, a group of units can first self-assemble some desired shape. If there is trouble in some part, the system cuts off the defective part, and self-repair is done using spare units.
Possible applications include machines used in environments inaccessible to humans. For instance, planetary exploring vehicles or satellite antennae. Transported in a compact folded form, they can expand to the original structure when working, and repair themselves if some part becomes damaged.
1. Unit Design and Prototype
2. Unit Motion
3. Self-assembly and Self-repair Method
4. Future Work
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