LG ELECTRONICS INC. (Seoul, KR)

A modular robot can have a connector device that is the first comprising at least one contact array an engine that controls the movements of the robot and a processor for controlling the driving device as well as the first connecting devices. The processor detects the fastening of the first device by a second module device’s second connection device. The second device is a second contact arrangement composed at least one electrode. In response to identifying the module using a contact pattern based on the contact pattern, activate at most one of the functions of the module.

The present disclosure is related to the modular robotic system and in particular to a modular robotic system for understanding the mounting of a modular device.

A robot is typically an automated machine that performs tasks on its own or rely on its own skills. The fields of application of the robot are generally divided into a robot for industrial usage, medical use and space-based use, submarine use and so on.

A robot with modular capabilities that can be combined with other robots was developed in recent times. This allows the completion of specific tasks to be completed by a small robot created to serve. This modular robot can be used as an independent entity, but it can also be integrated with other robots. To this end, the modular robot establishes communication with other robots which are a cooperation target and then transmits and receives predeterminedsignals, thereby determining whether or not the modular robot is coupled to other robots.

To put it another way the robot should be equipped with a communication system to enable communication with other robots. This means that the cost of manufacturing of the robot will increase as well as the size of the machine increases.

The purpose of this disclosure is to create a modular robot which determines whether or not the modular robot is coupled to other robots which are cooperating targets, even without establishing communication with the other robots.

The technical problem that is to be resolved in the present disclosure is not limited to the technical issues mentioned above. Other technical issues that are not discussed can be clearly understood from those described below by a person with a basic understanding in the art.

One embodiment is a modular robotic system that includes: a first connection device including an initial contact array comprised of at least one electrode; a driving device which is configured to implement movement of the modular robot; and a processor which is configured to control the first device for connection as well as the driving device. The processor can be programmed to control the device so that the modular robot is able to detect fastening of the first connection device and a second connection device from a module device including a second contact array composed of at least one electrode, identifies the module device based on a contact pattern that is formed by the first contact array in contact with the second contact array, and then controls at least one function of the driving device and the module device on the basis of the recognition.

A method of operation that is suitable for modular robots is a different embodiment. The operation method consists of: detecting the attachment of a modular robot’s first connection device that includes a first contact arrangement and the second module device’s connecting device, which includes an additional contact array; identifying the module devices on the basis of an interaction pattern between the first and second contact arrays and directing at least one function of the modular robotics as well as a module device’s function that is based on the recognition.

The modular robot in the embodiments of this disclosure recognizes the connection of a module device by using a contact array made up of multiple electrodes which provide a magnetic force, thereby enabling the coupling andidentification of the module device without establishing communication with the module device. Also, the modular robot according to the embodiment of the present disclosure does not have to include a communication circuit for establishingcommunication with the module device, so that the manufacturing cost and size of the modular robot can be reduced.

Advantageous effects that can be obtained from the present disclosure is not limited to the previously mentioned effects. There are other benefits that can be gained from the disclosure. This is demonstrated by the below descriptions which are the result of the work of those skilled in the art.

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