bots IN BRIEF
SUPER SIMPLE SWARM SLINKYS
Swarm Slinky is a project at the Technical University of
Madrid. The idea behind Swarm Slinky is to build a multi-robot system consisting of six independent units designed to
explore difficult terrain.
The six units are interrelated, creating a mobile network
distributed by robots which are able to transport payloads
(sensors). The swarm can be spread out from a central point
(supply rover), then move in a radial sequence with the
purpose of moving as far away from the rover as possible. The
obtained effective range from the point of view of the
exploration is the combination of the six ranges of each
In addition to this capacity to cover an explored length
bigger than the one which would be covered by a single
robot, it should be noted that the six robots will form an
irregular hexagon which defines a zone where the
measurement of determined variables can be done.
Finally, the advantage of using a swarm of robots must be
emphasized, such as the increasement in strength of the
system; a possible breakdown of any of the individual robots
would not affect the mission totally.
The given system can be divided in two levels: collective
and individual. On the one hand (as a group), the individuals
are considered as identical and simple units which can be
dispensable for the development of the mission. Their
capacities of intercommunication allow them to act as nodes
of an interrelated network; a mesh. If some of the units get
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damaged, the system — as a group — can continue to
The four legs of each robot have independent
movements. They are connected to the body by four
continuous rotation drives with position feedback. This
configuration is very versatile and allows different locomotion
modes such as slinky, rolling, caterpillar, quadruped and whegs.
Slinky and rolling have been selected as the principal
means of locomotion. The rest of the modes can be used to
overcome different obstacles.
Swarm Slinkys are simple, strong, and economic.