Digital Multimedia & Technology Designer

SHAPE SHIFTING ROBOTS

Self Assembling Modules

Problem

 Self propelling an object over another object in any X,Y,Z direction.

Goals

Relocate a module anywhere within its reach. Minimize number of moving parts. Scalable in size and plurality.

Solution

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. Each module has at least 3 locks and is capable of attaching or detaching to its immediate neighboring modules. The modules can relocate to change their overall structural shape. 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 pressure created between a module face and its opposite module face can displace modules parallel to the reaction faces. A proper roadway or track formed by other modules are 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. These outer modules are moved by attaching to modules in the interior of the matrices, where complete roadway for displacement can be formed.

Space Engine is an autonomous kinematic 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 animate via electromagnetic forces between immediate neighboring modules. Space Engine’s polymorphic properties are capable of simulating mechanical components like springs, pistons, dampness, 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 operate autonomously. Space Engine is a Technology Bridge; interdisciplinary collaboration between materials, software, and hardware. Connecting incompatible technologies into one system enables universal compatibility.

  • 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 APPLICATIONS

Autonomous Living

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.

SPACE ENGINE ADVANTAGES & CAPABILITIES

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 re-configuring 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 prior, 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.

CELL DESIGN & PROPULSION TESTS

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 hard-wire through contacts placed on the exterior surfaces of the modules or the hard lock system.

SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE & BRANDING

Ruke.Keragala@me.com

+1 (407) 455 3706