Parallel Self-Assembly of Polyominoes Under Uniform Control Inputs



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IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters


We present fundamental progress on parallel self-assembly using large swarms of microscale particles in complex environments, controlled not by individual navigation, but by a uniform, global, external force with the same effect on each particle. Consider a 2-D grid world, in which all obstacles and particles are unit squares, and for each actuation, particles move maximally until they collide with an obstacle or another particle. We present algorithms that, given an arbitrary 2-D structure, design an obstacle layout. When actuated, this layout generates copies of the input 2-D structure. We analyze the movement and spatial complexity of the factory layouts. We present hardware results on both a macroscale, gravity-based system, and a microscale, magnetically actuated system.



Robots, Two dimensional displays, Production facilities, Shape, Spirals, Algorithm design and analysis, Automation at micro-nano scales, Additive manufacturing, Underactuated robots


Copyright 2017 IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Manzoor, Sheryl, Samuel Sheckman, Jarrett Lonsford, Hoyeon Kim, Min Jun Kim, and Aaron T. Becker. "Parallel self-assembly of polyominoes under uniform control inputs." IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 2, no. 4 (2017): 2040-2047. DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2017.2715402 This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.