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Self-reconfigurable modular robots with user interface

Configurable modular robotRobot moduleSelf-assemblyUser Interface


Implemenation of many automation processes can be problematic if robotic systems currently on the market are used. This is caused by the frequent variation of the tasks to be performed and the great difficulty in finding a single robot that is suitable for all. In addition, buying multiple different robots can be very expensive. Configurable modular robots can be a solution. However, several limitations, including robotic re-configuration through the use of complex mathematical models, prevent their spread. The invention proposes a new model for configurable modular robots, which includes: automatic recognition of the robot type and generation of automatic controls, developed and already implemented in its software, enabled by a custom electronic device (user interface).

Technical features

The modular configurable robot described, includes a set of robot modules. The robot module includes: 1) a coupling mechanism, arranged at at least one of the two ends of the module, configured for coupling with another robot module forming an electromechanical interface. 2) an integrated circuit comprising a microcontroller circuit with a unique identification code and I/O ports for the reception of the electrical orientation signal. 3) a server device, which will act as a user interface, configured to host a centralized database containing a set of functional, kinematic, inertial and semantic configuration sets that robot modules can assume, accessible by their unique identification code. Thanks to the database, the user can select the most suitable configuration. The server device will then communicate with the chip and the microcontroller, changing the orientation of the robot module.

Possible Applications

  • Industrial automation processes, especially in environments where the activities to be carried out change very frequently


  • On-the-fly and very fast automatic robot reconfiguration
  • Use and reconfiguration possible also for least-experienced users
  • Efficient performance, on par with specialized non-modulaer robots