Shape-shifting modular interactive device unveiled

May 17, 2016

A prototype for an interactive mobile device, called Cubimorph, which can change shape on-demand will be presented this week at one of the leading international forums for robotics researchers, ICRA 2016, in Stockholm, Sweden [May 16-21].

The research led by Dr Anne Roudaut from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, in collaboration with academics at the Universities of Purdue, Lancaster and Sussex, will be presented at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's biggest conference.

There has been a growing interest toward achieving modular interactive devices in the human computer interaction (HCI) community, but so far existing devices consist of folding displays and barely reach high shape resolution.

Cubimorph is a modular interactive device that holds touchscreens on each of the six module faces and that uses a hinge-mounted turntable mechanism to self-reconfigure in the user's hand. One example is a mobile phone that can transform into a console when a user launches a game.

The modular interactive device, made out of a chain of cubes, contributes towards the vision of programmable matter, where interactive devices change its shape to fit functionalities required by end-users.

At the conference the researchers will present a design rationale that shows user requirements to consider when designing homogeneous modular interactive devices.

The research team will also show the Cubimorph mechanical design, three prototypes demonstrating key aspects - turntable hinges, embedded touchscreens and miniaturisation and an adaptation of the probabilistic roadmap algorithm for the reconfiguration.

Dr Anne Roudaut, Lecturer from the University's Department of Computer Science and co-leader of the BIG (Bristol Interaction Group), said: "Cubimorph is the first step towards a real modular interactive device. Much work still needs to be achieved to put such devices in the end-user hands but we hope our work will create discussion between the human computer interaction and robotics communities that could be of benefit to one another other."
-end-


University of Bristol

Related Robotics Articles from Brightsurf:

Borrowing from robotics, scientists automate mapping of quantum systems
Riddhi Gupta has taken an algorithm used for autonomous vehicles and adapted it to help characterise and stabilise quantum technology.

COVID-19 should be wake-up call for robotics research
Robots could perform some of the 'dull, dirty and dangerous' jobs associated with combating the COVID-19 pandemic, but that would require many new capabilities not currently being funded or developed, an editorial in the journal Science Robotics argues.

How robots can help combat COVID-19: Science Robotics editorial
Can robots be effective tools in combating the COVID-19 pandemic?

Novel use of robotics for neuroendovascular procedures
The advanced technology has the potential to change acute stroke treatment.

Robotics: Teaming for future soldier combat
The US Army's investment for the 10 year, Army-led foundational research program has resulted in advanced science in four critical areas of ground combat robotics that affect the way US Warfighters see, think, move and team.

New haptic arm places robotics within easy reach
Imagine being able to build and use a robotic device without the need for expensive, specialist kit or skills.

AI-guided robotics enable automation of complex synthetic biological molecules
This article describes a platform that combines artificial intelligence-driven synthesis planning, flow chemistry and a robotically controlled experimental platform to minimize the need for human intervention in the synthesis of small organic molecules.

A step forward in wearable robotics: Exosuit assists with both walking and running
A soft robotic exosuit -- worn like a pair of shorts -- can make both walking and running easier for the wearer, a new study reports.

A first in medical robotics: Autonomous navigation inside the body
Bioengineers at Boston Children's Hospital report the first demonstration of a robot able to navigate autonomously inside the body.

Engineers build a soft robotics perception system inspired by humans
An international team of researchers has developed a perception system for soft robots inspired by the way humans process information about their own bodies in space and in relation to other objects and people.

Read More: Robotics News and Robotics Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.