Design of a robotic module for autonomous exploration and multimode locomotion

Sheila Russo, Kanako Harada, Tommaso Ranzani, Luigi Manfredi, Cesare Stefanini, Arianna Menciassi, Paolo Dario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanical design of a novel robotic module for a self-reconfigurable modular robotic system is presented in this paper. The robotic module, named Scout robot, was designed to serve both as a fully sensorized autonomous miniaturized robot for exploration in unstructured environments and as a module of a larger robotic organism. The Scout robot has a quasi-cubic shape of 105 mm × 105 mm × 123.5 mm, and weighs less than 1 kg. It is provided with tracks for 2-D locomotion and with two rotational DoFs for reconfiguration and macrolocomotion when assembled in a modular structure. A laser sensor was incorporated to measure the distance and relative angle to an object, and image-guided locomotion was successfully demonstrated. In addition, five Scout robot prototypes were fabricated, and multimodal locomotion of assembled robots was demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6291793
Pages (from-to)1757-1766
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2013


  • Autonomous exploration
  • Modular robots
  • Multimode locomotion
  • Self-reconfigurable robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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