Locomotion of a Modular Worm-like Robot using a FPGA-based embedded MicroBlaze Soft-processor

González-Gómez J., Aguayo E., and Boemo E.

Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
{Juan.Gonzalez, Estanislao.Aguayo, Eduardo.Boemo}@uam.es


Modular reconfigurable robots offer the promise of more versatility, robustness, and low cost. They are composed of simple and small modules, capable of attach and detach one to each other. In this paper, a modular worm-like robot composed of a chain of 8 similar modules is presented. A travelling wave, that moves from the tail to the head, propels the robot forward. The positions of the articulations are calculated using the following parameters: waveform, amplitude, and wavelength. Instead of a conventional architecture, a FPGA-based soft-processor core is utilized. It includes a set of custom peripheral cores, written in VHDL. FPGAs make modular robots more versatile, adding some new featureas to the design of robots like reconfigurable control, hardware reuse, lower cost, fault-recovering, and software/hardware co-design.

Juan Gonzalez 2004-10-08