The robot used in this research features self-modifying legs

Self-Modifying Morphology Experiments with DyRET: Dynamic Robot for Embodied Testing

Abstract

Robots need to be able to adapt to complex and dynamic environments for widespread adoption, and adapting the body might yield more flexible and robust robots. Previous work on dynamic robot morphology has focused on simulation, combining simple modules, or switching between locomotion modes. This paper presents an alternative approach: automatic self-reconfiguration of morphology on a four-legged hardware robot. This allows active adaptation of morphology to different environments, and enables rapid tests of morphology with a single robot. In this paper, we report the design of our robot, as well as the results of a study that verifies the performance impact of self-reconfiguration. This study compares three different control and morphology pairs under different levels of servo supply voltage. Experiments were largely performed in the lab, with preliminary tests in an uncontrolled outdoor environment. Our results show that the robot achieves better performance by adapting its morphology, confirming the value of self-reconfiguration in a quadruped robot.

Publication
Preprint: Arxiv
Date