This paper describes the electronics and communication system of Odin, a novel heterogeneous modular robot made of links and joints. The electronics is divided into two printed circuit boards: a General board with reusable components and a Specific board with non-reusable components. While the General board is common to the design of every type of module, such as power, actuator, sensor and structure, the Specific board is unique to each type of module. The communication system, one of the most important reusable components of Odin, is based on local buses that can be extended by bridging electrical signals. The implementations of actuator and power links show that splitting the electronics into General and Specific boards allows rapid development of different types of modules, and an analysis of performance indicates that the communication system is simple, fast and flexible. As the electronic design reuses approx. 50% of components between two different types of modules, we find it convenient for heterogeneous modular robots where production costs demand a small set of parts. In addition, as the features of the communication system are desirable in modular robots, we think it is suitable for such systems as well as useful for future research into flexible network topologies.
|Journal||I E E E International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Proceedings|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
|Event||2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Kobe, Japan|
Duration: 12 May 2009 → 17 May 2009
|Conference||2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation|
|Period||12/05/2009 → 17/05/2009|