usBot: A modular robotic testbed for programmable self-assembly

Usman A. Fiaz, Jeff S. Shamma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


We present the design, characterization, and experimental results for a new modular robotic system for programmable self-assembly. The proposed system uses the Hybrid Cube Model (HCM), which integrates classical features from both deterministic and stochastic self-organization models. Thus, for instance, the modules are passive as far as their locomotion is concerned (stochastic), and yet they possess an active undocking routine (deterministic). The robots are constructed entirely from readily accessible components and unlike many existing robots, their excitation is not fluid mediated. Instead, the actuation setup is a solid state, independently programmable, and highly portable platform. The system is capable of demonstrating fully autonomous and distributed stochastic self-assembly in two dimensions. It is shown to emulate the performance of several existing modular systems and promises to be a substantial effort towards developing a universal testbed for programmable self-assembly.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIFAC-PapersOnLine
PublisherElsevier BV
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 20 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by funding from KAUST.


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