The problem of self-reconfiguration of modular robots is discussed, and an algorithm for efficient parallel self-reconfiguration is presented. While much of the previous work has been focused on the lattice-type modular robots, this paper addresses the self-reconfiguration of chain-type robots. Relatively little attention has heretofore been given to this sub-problem, and of the existing work, none incorporates the kinematic limitations of real-life robots into the reconfiguration algorithm itself. The method presented here is based on understanding a robot’s physical “composition” using a graph-theoretic robot representation, and it sheds new light on self-reconfiguration of chain-type modular robots by incorporating elements of the robot kinematics as part of the criteria in choosing reconfiguration steps.

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