This chapter is concerned with proposing ways to make feasible the use of robots in many sectors characterized by dynamic and unstructured environments. In particular, we are interested in addressing the problem through a new approach, based on modular robotics, to allow the fast deployment of robotsto solve specific tasks. A series of authors have previously proposed modular architectures, albeit mostly in laboratory settings. For this reason, their designs were usually more focused on what could be built instead of what was necessary for industrial operations. The approach presented here addresses the problem the other way around. In this line, we start by defining the industrial settings the architecture is aimed at and then extract the main features that would be required from a modular robotic architecture to operate successfully in this context. Finally, a particular heterogeneous modular robotic architecture is designed from these requirements and a laboratory implementation of it is built in order to test its capabilities and show its versatility using a set of different configurations including manipulators, climbers and walkers.
Title of host publication
Advances in Intelligent Robotics and Collaborative Automation
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