Distributed Manipulation using Disctrete Actuator Arrays
J.E. Luntz University of Michigan
W. Messner and H. Choset Carnegie Mellon University
Multimedia extension #6: MDMS technology demo videos
Technology demos using light-based sensors at each cell to detect the presence of the object, and using communication between cells to perform tasks.
• backandforth.mpg (3.8MB): A 1x12 row of cells senses transports an object along the row. When the object reaches either end, the last cell senses it and passes a message down the row that all the cells should switch to push in the opposite direction. Also, only the wheels actually under the object (and one in front) rotate.
• transorient.mpg (4.6MB): A 1x12 row of cells passes an object back and forth as in the previous example while also sensing, using sensorts on outriggers at each cell, if the object is off center. If a cells sees the object is off center, it pushes normal to the row to re-center the object. Since the outrigger sensor spacing is only slightly larger than the width of the object, this has the effect or orienting the object with the array.
• spin.mpg (1.0MB): An object is arbitrarily placed on a 1x12 array. The cells pass messages between neighbors to approximately locate the edges of the object and it's center. The cells establish a kinematic rotational field around the approximated center by pushing normal to the row with velocity proportional to the distance from the center. This rotates the object about it's center (although nothing keeps the object on the array, and it eventially falls off).

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