A Robust Electro-Mechanical Interface for Cooperating Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Teams

Wiebke Brinkmann, Florian Cordes, Frank Kirchner

In: IROS 2015 Proceedings. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-2015) September 28-October 2 Hamburg Germany Seiten 1732-1737 ISBN 978-1-4799-9994-1 IROS 2015.


This paper presents the mechanical development and testing of a docking device for a highly heterogeneous selfreconfigurable multi-module/multi-robot system. The overall system is meant to emulate a robotic lunar exploration mission. The docking device, more precisely the electro-mechanical interface (EMI), is an advancement of the reliable electromechanical connection of the project RIMRES. Since possible combinations and roles of modules in the multi-robot system are defined before a mission, a gender-principle approach with one active and one passive face to be mated was chosen. The experiments in this paper are conducted to compare the improved mechanical design with the previous design. With the new design, docking is successfully tested under loads up to 800 N. The experiments presented include attaching and detaching in different EMI orientations with various loads, exceeding those expected for the application scenario. In further experiments operations under heavy dust/small particle contamination are presented.


Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence