Self-assembly and self-repair method for a distributed mechanical system

Kohji Tomita, Satoshi Murata, Haruhisa Kurokawa, Eiichi Yoshida, Shigeru Kokaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a self-assembly and self-repair method for a homogeneous distributed mechanical system. We focus on a category of distributed systems composed of numbers of identical units which can dynamically change connections among themselves. Each unit has an on-board microprocessor, and local communication between neighboring units is possible. In this paper, we discuss a distributed method for a group of such units to metamorphose from an arbitrary configuration into a desired configuration through cooperation by the units. This process, called self-assembly, is realized by identical software on each unit with local inter-unit communication. An extension of self-assembly, self-repair, is also examined. In this process, an occasional cut-off of an arbitrary part of the system is assumed. When some part of the system detects damage, the whole system degenerates and reconstructs itself. Computer simulations show the feasibility of self-assembly and self-repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1045
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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