Self-Configurable Modular Robot (MODBOT)

MQP Team:

  • Paul Heslinga
  • Kyle Padelford
  • Stephen Poppa
  • Caleb Swieson  


  • Stephen Nestinger
  • Fred Looft  

The goal of this project was to design and build a self-reconfigurable modular robot. Each module was designed to move independently, identify and connect with other modules, and travel as a collective system. The modules were designed with three degrees of freedom, allowing for high individual and group mobility and overall system configurability. A single module was little more than 3x3x6” and was custom machined out of aluminum in order to reduce weight and improve structural strength. The small size of each module required innovative design and placement of the onboard microcontroller, wireless communication, motors, motor control systems, sensors, and battery. An important feature of the modular robot is the connection mechanism, utilizing a magnetic connector. The magnetic connector was designed using electrically switchable permanent magnets, allowing the connection mechanism to engage and disengage repeatedly. Power is only required during switching, thus improving system battery life while still retaining functionality. Learn more...

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