A robot to explore the unknown and automate tomorrow’s tasks and the ones after them needs to be extremely versatile. Ideally, it was capable of being any size, any shape, and any functionality, shapeless like water, flexible and smart. For his Hackaday Prize entry, [Alberto] is building such a modular, self-reconfiguring robot: Dtto.
To achieve the highest possible reconfigurability, [Alberto’s] robot is designed to be the building block of a larger, mechanical organism. Inspired by the similar MTRAN III, individual robots feature two actuated hinges that give them flexibility and the ability to move on their own. A coupling mechanism on both ends of the robot allows the little crawlers to self-assemble in various configurations and carry out complex tasks together. They can chain together to form a snake, turn into a wheel and even become four (or more) legged walkers. With six coupling faces on each robot, that allow for connections in four orientations, virtually any topology is possible.
Each robot contains two strong servos for the hinges and three smaller ones for the coupling mechanism. Alignment magnets help the robots to index against each other before a latch locks them in place. The clever mechanism doubles as an ejector, so connections can be undone against the force of the alignment magnets. Most of the electronics, including an Arduino Nano, a Bluetooth and a NRF24L01+ module, are densely mounted inside one end of the robot, while the other end can be used to add additional features, such as a camera module, an accelerometer and more. The following video shows four Dtto robots in a snake configuration crawling through a tube.
16 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Dtto Modular Robot”
Nice gif! I actually jumped. :O
Cool bots man! Skynet has found version 1.
Robots that are ready to explore the unknown, so long it has enough battery
Also, SKYNET CONFIRMED
My thoughts exactly. You beat me to it !
Nah. Stargate did it better. (Replicators)
Seems the evolution of the MTRAN3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oSavAHf0dg) from 2008…
“Inspired by the similar MTRAN III”
At 4:45 I almost fell out of the chair. Great video!
I’m going to have trouble falling asleep now…
*whispers* I can hear them. They’re in the walls!
knock it on its side, if it can effectively slither…..
Then you can call it a snake
The HiBot is even more terrifying
Now I’ll have nightmares about robotic pool snakes. :P
Try this video to get relaxing again :)
Well that looks like an interesting movie trailer…
OMG THER FER REALZ!!!
its nearly a flink!
I’m having “Dr. Mario” flashbacks. the colored ones look like pills or “capsules” from the side view.
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