Space Engine is a revolutionary platform technology for shape-shifting robotics.

Space Engine challenges the status quo of the robotics industry, where hardware innovation lags behind the possibilities of today’s software landscape. Our central premise is to develop a modular robotics system with swarms of hundreds (or thousands) of standard “cubes” that can reconfigure in real-time to produce different robotic tools or machines. Our approach of “shape-shifting” robotics utilizes a few basic building blocks, assembling them in multiple configurations to make complex objects. This mimics what works in nature, such as cells combining to create living beings or molecules combining to create elements and compounds

Space Engine is an autonomous kinetic platform with variable morphology. The self-reconfigurable robotic modules use directed movement to change their overall shape. Space Engine can adapt to new circumstances, perform new tasks, or recover from damage. The modules can generate force to manipulate their surrounding environment. Individual modules can move to desired positions and then lock together to form a rigid structure, eliminating the need for permanent structures, frames and walls. Each module is a self-contained unit with its own locking/coupling system capable of attaching or detaching to its immediate neighboring modules. It has an electromagnetic propulsion system similar to a linear motor, its own controller and sensors, power and data distribution systems. Modules move via electromagnetic forces between immediate neighboring modules. Space Engine’s polymorphic properties are capable of simulating mechanical components like springs, pistons, dampners, continues tracks and convey belts. Attachment tools or accessories can be added to Space Engine for it to perform specific tasks. Such tools can be anything from machines, equipment, devices, material tiles, etc. Some sample tools are: drilling tools, 3D printer heads, steam spray, heating or cooling elements, decorative tiles, insulation tiles, etc. The engine can move and position these tools to form different machinery and appliances that can be programmed to operate autonomously. Space Engine is a Technology Bridge; interdisciplinary collaboration between materials, software, and hardware. Connecting incompatible technologies into one system enabling universal compatibility.

This technology evolved from a modular LEGO-like furniture system called Tetran (tetranliving.com). Design and development started in August 2016. We have designed two versions of this module, a powerful single-magnet high-gravity module and a six-magnet module for low-gravity space-based applications. Propulsion systems for both modular designs have been successfully built and tested already. Technology requirements for this invention are very basic as the innovation is purely in the design. We are now looking to interest investors and customers, and to hire a core engineering team to take the next step forward. Applications for this automation hardware technology includes industrial robotics, commercial robotics, consumer robotics, space and defense robotics.

  • Variable Structure; eliminates the need for permanent structures, frames and walls.

  • Variable Morphology; Polymorphic ability to simulate mechanical components, scalable, self re-configurable, on-demand retooling.

  • Maximum Mobility; Generates its own momentum energy for self-propelling through obstacles. Capable of multi-terrain, subterranean exploration.

  • Maximum Manipulation; Complete three dimensional spatial control, capable of out-performing human tasks and hand/finger actions.

  • Technology Bridge; interdisciplinary collaboration between materials, software, and hardware. Connecting incompatible technologies into one system enables universal compatibility.

  • Self-repair, Self-service and Self-maintaining robotic eco system.

  • Fully autonomous and remote operations capacity.

SPACE ENGINE TECHNOLOGY

Space Engine is an autonomous kinematic platform with variable morphology. In particular, relates to self-reconfigurable robotic modules capable of directed movement in order to manipulate their overall shape thereby enabling them to interact with and manipulate their surrounding physical space, including our living space, work space, recreation space, etc.

Space Engine provides a platform comprising a self-reconfigurable robot with a plurality of modules used to create structures capable of addressing specific tasks. The robot is able to deliberately change its own shape by rearranging the connectivity of the modules to adapt to new circumstances, perform new tasks, or recover from damage. This platform engine includes a plurality of identical modules that can attach to and detach from one another and are capable of changing positions relative to one another, thereby changing the shape of the overall robotic structure. Each module is a self-contained unit with its own locking and propulsion systems, its own processing, sensing, power and data distribution systems. Space Engine can adapt its shape to suit the needs of the required task by manipulating the individual modules to move to desired positions and then lock together to form a rigid structure.

This self-reconfigurable robot which comprises a plurality of modules. Each module is cubic or rectangular cuboid in shape, with each of the faces including locking and propulsion systems. Each module has at least 3 locks and is capable of attaching or detaching to its immediate neighboring modules.

Each module also has its own propulsion system. The modules can relocate to change their overall structural shape. Modules can be added to or removed from the system. The underlying intent is to have an indefinite number of identical modules in a three dimensional matrix grid structure of self-reconfigurable modules. The ability of the modules to connect and disconnect and to change position with respect to one another enables them to form many objects or perform many tasks – thus enabling them to move or manipulate the three dimensional space and environment surrounding them.

  • The ability of the modules to connect and disconnect and to change position with respect to one another enables them to form many objects or perform many tasks – thus enabling them to move or manipulate the three dimensional space and environment surrounding them.

 

The modules can contain electronics, sensors, connectors, computer processors, memory and power supplies. They can also contain tools that are used for manipulating their location and interacting with other objects outside of or separate from the modular structure. Any task the modules can’t perform on their own can be integrated as attachment tools.

Similar to biological systems that are self-constructed out of a relatively small repertoire of lower-level building blocks (cells or amino acids). This architecture mimics biological systems ability to physically adapt, grow, heal, and even self replicate – capabilities that would be desirable in many engineered systems.

Basic module design has the following components/parts:

  • A Core Frame – is the superstructure that holds all the other components together and provides modular structural strength and rigidly;
  • A Hard Locking system – is part of the frame and enables the modules to physically attach to their immediate neighboring modules to form larger structures;
  • A Propulsion system – present in the interior or exterior of the Core Frame, but preferably on each face of the module, and is anchored in place by the frame.

 

Controlling electronics and other electrical components are contained within the module superstructure. Cameras, proximity sensors and other sensors can be add to the frame to sense the environment or surrounding modules, or to aid in accomplishing specific tasks.

BASICS : Frames & Locks

The locking system can be any type of hard lock system that enables a module to physically attach to and detach from another neighboring module – for example, latches, bolts, screws, etc. The locking system may also provide a power and/or data connection to linked modules. One module can physically attach and detach to its immediate neighboring modules using a solid locking/coupling mechanism. This creates a static structure that does not need power or energy to maintain rigidity.

Modules can use their electromagnetic propulsion as an additional soft locking system by switching all their magnetic configurations to attach to their immediate neighboring modules. This is useful for rapid task changes by minimizing module lock/unlock time. It can also control and manage impacts from other matrices and objects. Both solid hard locking and magnetic soft locking used together for add structural strength and rigidly. Useful in situations where solid hard locking by itself is inadequate for the required rigidity.

Frames&Lock

BASICS : Electromagnetic Propulsion

The modules propel in a linear motion, forward or backward along X, Y or Z spatial planes. Motion is not restricted to a single dimensional plane. Modules creates their own momentum forces, able to propel itself by controlled pressure variation created between one or more of its immediate neighboring modules. The propulsion system directs pressure via each face of the modules. The pressure created between a module face and its opposite module face can displace modules parallel to the reaction faces. A proper roadway or track is required for one or more modules to displace. If a group of modules needs to displace along the X-axis, at least one or more reaction faces are required both the -Y and +Y directions as well as the -Z and +Z directions. The modules on the exterior of the matrices cannot displace independently on their own, due to lack of one or more reaction face from immediate neighboring modules. Lacking proper roadways, the displacing modules will be ejected from the main body. These outer modules are moved by attaching to modules in the interior of the matrices, where complete roadway for displacement can be formed.

The most preferred drive system at the present time is one based on electromagnetic or magnetic flux reactions (similar to an DC motor or a Liners motor — e.g., Maglev trains) that uses magnetic pressures to attract and/or repel neighboring modules. 

The propelling module use its electromagnets to pull or push forward along the roadway created by other modules. The roadway modules’ faces pull or push the propelling modules forward. Increasing the number of modular reaction faces also increases the total momentum or push/pull forces. The number of magnets on each face and their configurations can change according to requirements. For instance, some of the module faces can be changed from electromagnets to permanent magnets for added force and/or minimize energy usage.

The modules are powered via their own internal batteries or a central power unit for the matrix where power is distributed via a grid running along each module face. In the latter case, electrical contact conductors along the outer frame can distribute electricity to every module in the matrix, whether they are moving or locked as structures.

The modules can also be controlled via a central computers or through internal computers inside of each module. A controller managers and distributes propulsion variables to move modules and lock/unlock them as required, and collect and process sensor data. Inter modular data communication can be performed using wireless signals or hardwire through contacts placed on the exterior surfaces of the modules or the hard lock system.

DESIGN

DESIGN

SPACE ENGINE ADVANTAGES

Functional Advantage

Self reconfiguring robotic systems are potentially more robust and more adaptive than conventional systems. The reconfiguration ability allows a robot or a group of robots to disassemble and reassemble machines to form new morphologies that are better suitable for new tasks. Machines can replace faulty parts autonomously, leading to self-repair.

Simulate and perform human tasks – A modular robotic matrix with the right tool attachments and software can do almost any human task or perform any human skill or action. These robots do not move the same way as a person, but able to replicate the same results. Module size 15mm or smaller matrix can simulate hand and finger actions.

Remote operations, tele-presence, tele-manipulation – Remotely performing tasks, including the operation of machines and equipment remotely, is possible and especially desirable in cases involving hazardous environments and conditions. A remote operator receives sensory data transmitted by a robot at different location.

 

Economic Advantage

Self reconfiguring robotic systems can potentially lower overall robot cost by making a range of complex machines out of a single (or relatively few) types of mass-produced modules. The added degrees of freedom make modular robots more versatile in their potential capabilities.

The invention provides long-term self-sustaining robotic ecology that can handle unforeseen situations and self repair. Self-reconfigurable systems have the ability to handle tasks that are not known a priori, and adopt to new situations simply by changing software code.

Self-reliable robotics ecosystems are advantageous in space missions and other missions that are highly volume- and mass-constrained. Sending one robot system that can reconfigure to achieve many tasks may be more effective than sending many robots that can do one task each.

Modular multi-dimensional linear motor

Creates its own momentum forces. Electric current drives the electromagnets to move modules and objects with controlled force and speed. This system is multi-directional and reconfigurable, and permits the use of adjustable force and speed in many appliances – e.g., simulating an engine – in a combustion engine, the initial forces are linear (pistols move up and down in a linear motion); the crankshaft transform this linear momentum to rotational torque. Modules can simulate pistols to turn a crankshaft to generate torque

Simulate Components & Materials

VARIABLE MORPHOLOGY

Adaptability

Space Engine adapts and evolves to new tasks and environments. Separating into multiple matrices provides the ability to tackle multiple tasks at the same time or in remote locations simultaneously. Upgrading or adding a new machine is very fast – simply add the new tool attachments and software to an existing matrix. Rapid on demand transformation from one machine configuration to another is possible.

Displacement

All degrees of three dimensional spatial freedom is provided. Multi directional motion & force. Three dimensional displacement of modules and objects, XYZ motion. Permits transport of parts of the matrix and objects from one end of the matrix reach to the other end.

Assembly & Disassembly

One or more matrices with the right tools attachments can assemble and disassemble machines and other objects, or assemble and construct parts, components and objects, and then operate, maintain, service, repair other machines, equipment and objects, or disassemble, deconstruct or demolish machines, equipment and objects, and then sort, store or recycle them.

Self propelled

Continuous motion, displacement propulsion. Displacing modules from the rear of the matrix to the front of the matrix, similar to tank/bulldozer thread tracks. Matrices are able to self relocate, and to push or pull along objects with them. Load balancing and stability capabilities are provided by having the outer modules of the matrix making multiple contact anchor points around its immediate terrain floor, walls and roof of a given location to create a structure and roadways for other modules and associated objects to move forward. Once the main body moves forward, the rear modules creating the structure and roadways detached and moved to the front of the system to create new structure and roadways.

Fluid Navigation

Modules are able to displace over, under, around and through terrain and obstacles. Flowing motion is provided – similar to a fluid – by moving modules from the rear to the front of the matrix while creating void spaces around obstacles, even displacing through small openings and navigating rough terrain.

MAXIMUM MOBILITY

MODULE RESOLUTION

SCALING

SECURITY

SELF REPAIR

TOOLS

SAFTY

INDUSTRY 4.0

INDUSTRY 4.0

Industrial Robotics

Advance robotics is a key part of the 4th Industrial revolution, the Smart Factory (Industry 4.0). Space Engine transforms industrial robotic to a whole new level, these next generation industrial robots will be powered by cloud-computing and cognitive computing to enable;

  • Fully-automated production and assembly
  • Zero down time with self-repair, self-service and self-maintenances
  • Rapid retooling & re-configuring, switching model production, today cars, tomorrow trucks
  • Mass product customization
  • Scalable multipurposing production lines
  • On-demand & low-volume production
  • MaaS: Machine as a Service

With scale able minimal footprint, factories can be located close to the point of demand, to quickly adapt to new trends and minimize shipping.

Robotic Farming

Farming is very systematic and repetitive, with process that can easily be automated. From all aspects of the growing processors to harvesting and processing. Robot farmers are Eco-friendly, saves water and protects the soil, eliminating chemical by targeting and removing weeds and pests, enabling mass organic cultivation with high production efficiency. Monitor individual plant, tree or fruit, and control harvest quantity and quality. The Space Engine eliminates the number to different equipment and machinery needed for different stages of farming.

Robotic Warehouses

Fully automated fulfillment services. Goods are stored, sorted, picked, packaged and shipped by a single highly scalable robotics eco-system.

Robotic Mining

Multi-purpose mining transformer robots, self-repairing and self-maintaining with no down time. On site material processing and refining.

Global Industrial Robotics market $87 Billion by 2025, CAGAR of 9.6%

Global Mining equipment market $156 billion by 2022, CAGAR of 7.9%.

Global Agriculture Robotics market $27 billion by 2023

Global Service Fulfillment market $5.56 billion by 2019, CAGAR of 9.8%

FABRICATOR

FABRICATOR

Autonomous Product Fabrication

Product Fabrication

A fully autonomous object fabrication robots are like miniature factories; build parts and objects from any type of materials, using multiple types of fabrication methods with attachments tools for milling, 3D printing, welding, cutting, drilling, finishing, painting, assembly, etc. Input data and raw materials to this fabricator robot, and outputs finished goods, fully assembled and packaged to specifications. Fully assembled goods are not limited to toys, mugs and tables, this robot can be scaled up to build complete houses, buildings and infrastructure of any type or size. 

Global Construction Industry $10.3 Trillion by 2020

SIMULATOR

SIMULATOR

Digitally Simulated Actuality

Simulator

Space Engine Simulator configuration creates whole new category of digitally simulated realities with physical interactive environments, tangible digital polygons. Endless applications from Gaming and recreational, fitness and exercise, training and exploration, and specialized working environments. Inspired by StarTrek holodeck concept.

A large matrices can simulate a multi directional treadmill. A user is stationed at the top center of the matrix. When the user moves towards one direction, parts of the matrix around the user will move the opposite direction and reposition the user back to the original location. Modules can assemble into three dimensional shapes to simulate terrain and obstacles alone the Z axis while the matrix positions the whole terrain along X and Y axis, while repositioning the user back to center of the matrices(X=0, Y=0, Z=0). Forming and repositioning simulated terrain and objects, so the user can walk, run, climb, in the same spot. Simulate endless applications.

Gaming

Play video games in a whole new dimension, with actual tangible polygons and geometry. Space Engine integrates with the game graphics polygon information and VR data to creates a physical 3D infinite plain to walk, run, jump, climb, crawl in any direction (north, south, east, west, up or down). Physically interact with game elements seen through VR goggles, not limited to terrain and items but simulate vehicles. While the Space Engine modules forms physical geometry like the frame and seats, other interactive elements like steering wheels and control pedals are placed as tool modules. This simulator technology is steps beyond concepts visioned in sci-if movies like ‘Ready Players One (2018 Spielberg)’.

Exercise

Space Engine can simulate any type of walking, jogging, running, climbing interactive scenarios. Simply loading an app and a Space Engine will form to simulation any type of gym equipment. Including weight training, modules can use their own weight or their electromagnets to create resistance, adjust weights or change equipment with a simple tap.

Recreational

Virtual exploration and adventures, Rock climb a remote cliff in New Zealand or Mars. Immersive interactive Movies & TV, Arcades and Theme Park experiences.

Training

Create environments, scenarios and hardware for sports, skills and tasks training. Practicing your golf swing to professional sports training or hardcore military training.

Work

Create dynamic filmmaking sets for movie, tv and stage productions. Simulate specialized work stations and labs, Space Engine can simulate a whole office building and the users can walk from one room to another, interact with other users and perform tasks. Remotely operate experiments, manufacturing or construction facilities in hazardous environments. Perform complex tasks in space at the safety and comfort of your home or office, instead of a space suit in the most hostile of environments.

Global VR/AR market $90.8 billion by 2020

Global Fitness equipment market $12.5 billion by 2021, CAGAR of 4%

REPLICATOR

REPLICATOR

Autonomous Home

Full automated kitchen could prepare custom meals to order, from your grandmother famous pot roast to famous cuisines around the world. Robotic washing system that can wash and clean anything from dinnerware, cookware, equipment and clothes. Anything can be washed, cleaned and reused, eliminating the use of disposable like plastic cutlery, paper napkins, Styrofoam plates and containers, etc. Cleaning robots can clean and maintain your whole house. Gardening robots can manage and maintain plants and vegetables, shovel/clean snow, wash and polish the car. All these tasks performed by the same Space Engine with different tool attachments and software apps.

Robots are far more reliable, dependable and safer than most human labor. Full autonomous homes maximize our most valuable commodity, time. It creates more free time for family, hobbies or personal projects.

Space Engine can be configured to form into any type of furniture like sofa, chairs, tables, beds, etc. Download the latest designs and customize to fit your living space. Create on demand living/working spaces, Bedroom can transform to a living room or study. New type of luxury hotels and apartments with highly customizable living spaces.

Full automated kitchen could prepare custom meals to order, from your grandmother famous pot roast to famous cuisines around the world. Robotic washing system that can wash and clean anything from dinnerware, cookware, equipment and clothes. Anything can be washed, cleaned and reused, eliminating the use of disposable like plastic cutlery, paper napkins, Styrofoam plates and containers, etc. Cleaning robots can clean and maintain your whole house. Gardening robots can manage and maintain plants and vegetables, shovel/clean snow, wash and polish the car. All these tasks performed by the same Space Engine with different tool attachments and software apps.

Robots are far more reliable, dependable and safer than most human labor. Full autonomous homes maximize our most valuable commodity, time. It creates more free time for family, hobbies or personal projects.

Space Engine can be configured to form into any type of furniture like sofa, chairs, tables, beds, etc. Download the latest designs and customize to fit your living space. Create on demand living/working spaces, Bedroom can transform to a living room or study. New type of luxury hotels and apartments with highly customizable living spaces.

Global Household Appliance market $344 billion by 2020, CAGAR of 6.1%

Global Robot Chef market $13.4 billion by 2019

Global Luxury Furniture market $27 billion by 2020, CAGAR of 4.1%

Global Luxury Hotels revenue $194 billion by 2021

DISCOVERY

DISCOVERY

Space Robotics

Space missions are highly volume- and mass-constrained. Sending a robotic system that can reconfigure to achieve many tasks is far more effective than sending multiple robots that each can do one task. Remote operation of orbital factories, building and running experiments, constructing spacecrafts in space are all possible. Complex tasks in space can be performed in the safety and comfort of your home or office, instead of a space suit in the most hostile environments. Planetary explorer like MARS rover can be reconfigure for new missions and self repaired, or adapted to work in different terrains and environmental conditions. The matrices of the present invention can be used for building human habitats in space or on asteroids, moons or planets; for autonomous farming, cooking and cleaning; for robotic mining, refining and processing of raw materials, fabricating parts, constructing tools and machines, building cities.

Spacecrafts

Build a new generation of self-reconfigurable, self-repairing and self-maintaining, manned and unmanned spacecrafts. Robotic Servicing of orbit Satellites. Repair, service, maintain and upgrade, old satellites and other space crafts.

Planetary Exploration

A new generation of modular robotic surface rovers physically adopt to new situations like rough terrain or subterranean environments, with reconfigurable tools and self-repair capability. Space Engine modules can be configured into an scalable extended exo-skeleton for manned explorations.

OrbitalLab

Unmanned orbital laboratory comprised entirely of robotic modules, reconfigure to perform off-world research and development, controlled and operated remotely from earth, from the safety of your office or home. This infinitely scalable laboratory can remotely conduct any type of short/long term experiments, receive and dispatch payloads.

Resource Extraction

Autonomous robotic material mining of asteroids, moons and planets.

Resource Processing

Autonomous robotic processing of materials extracted from planetary objects to usable raw materials.

Orbital Manufacturing

Taking advantage of unlimited solar energy, zero gravity or variable spin gravity, vacuum pressure, extreme low temperatures, and autonomous robotic workforce to manufacture new products and goods in space. Eg. New materials, optical cables, computer chips, growing human transplant organs, growing food, etc.

Construction

Remote Construction & Assembly of self-sustaining Ships, Stations, Bases, Cities. Construct and operate human habitats with multi-functional living space, Infrastructure, Solar farms, autonomous farming and manufacturing, in space or on planetary body like asteroids, moons and planets.

Contact

Contact

About Ruke Keragala

Inventor / Designer / Entrepreneur (BSc Design, Full Sail University, FL). Founder and Inventor of 3rdVector robotics platform and TETRAN modular furniture. With more than 25 years of experience in the field of design, specializes in 3D, 2D, multimedia, motion graphics and product design. Experience with delivering complex projects and capability for creativity and innovation, along with strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. Adaptable self-learning skills, understand and apply new technologies.

Ruke.Keragala@me.com