I led the electronics team designing modular robots capable of self-reconfiguration in a programmed morphology. The modules, consisting of 3 translational Degrees of Freedom and 6 rotational Degrees of Freedom, were connected to each other and a local server over low power Wireless Zigbee protocol in a mesh network. Each module houses a Zigbee module, Teensy dev board featuring a 32 bit 180 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor with floating point unit and a custom PCB addressing power management and actuation drivers. It also consists of 3 stepper motors to rotate the 3 discs (blue in models below) till 90 degrees about the center of the module, 3 DC motors to facilitate complete rotation of the discs around their respective centers, 3 linear actuators to extend the discs along the axes of actuators and solenoids (green in models below) to hold together other modules. Two discs of a module can indeed arrange parallel to each other to act as wheels and allow locomotion of the module. The entire 3D structure was printed in ABS to make the modules light. That helped reduce heavy actuation and hence, power consumption.

Here are some photos to provide an overview of the module :