The Bluetooth radio system is an ideal communications tool for lightweight autonomous mobile robots but little research interest has been targeted at this application. This paper presents an environment which allows behavior-based autonomous mobile robotic simulation to take advantage of synthetic Bluetooth communications. Two components comprise the system. A highly adaptable mobile robot simulation arena provides an extensible behavior-based control architecture and secondly the Bluetooth modeling framework providing accurate Bluetooth device interaction. This paper describes the design and integration of these two systems to form a complete environment and any additional components which are required.


Modular robots offer a robust and flexible framework for exploring adaptive locomotion control. They allow assembling robots of different types, Snakelike robots, robots with limbs, and many other different shapes. In this paper we present a new cheap modular robot called B-ROBOTS (“Blue tooth Controlled robots”). Each B-ROBOTS module contains an FPGA and a microcontroller supporting a wide range of control strategies and high computational power. The Bluetooth interface included in each B-ROBOTS module allows wireless communication between the modules and controlling the robot from a PC. With the help of our control software called Bluetooth, we tested different configurations of our B-ROBOTS robots like a wheel, caterpillar or configurations with limbs and their capabilities for locomotion.














Locomotion with modular robots constitutes a great potential and at the same time a very difficult challenge. In comparison to conventional Monolithic robots, modular robots present the advantage of supporting a fast reconfiguration of their structure. To build a robot of the desired form a completely new robot does not need to be constructed but it can be reassembled by simply disconnecting and reconnecting modules. Furthermore modular robots constitute a challenging framework for exploring distributed control when each module contains its own controller and sensors.

The main characteristics of our modular robots are: (1) each module contains a Bluetooth interface for inter-module communication as well as for communication between the modules and a base station like a PC — most modular robots use direct electrical connections, which are less flexible and (2) each module comprises an FPGA for reconfigurable computation most modular robots use traditional microcontrollers, but see For an example of a robot using a single FPGA for controlling all modules.

We designed and implemented control software called Blue that allows controlling the B-ROBOTS modules from a PC via Bluetooth. Bluetooth offers an easy way for exploring the capabilities for locomotion of different configurations of modules.

In section 2 we give an overview about the mechanics and electronics of our modular robot. Section 3 describes the Bluetooth interface each robot modules contains. Section 4 gives an introduction to Bluetooth, the control software that we use for exploring locomotion. In section 5 we describe first examples of locomotion illustrating the capabilities of B-ROBOTS. Finally section 6 concludes and gives an outlook about future work.


B-ROBOTS – mechanics and electronics


B-ROBOTS consist of mechanically homogeneous modules. One of the key Features of B-ROBOTS is its low cost: in contrast to the majority of modular Robots, B-ROBOTS are constructed with off-the-shelf components. Each module contains a powerful one degree of freedom servo motor (with a 73Ncm Maximal torque). Its casing consists of cheap printed circuit boards (PCB) that can also serve as support for printed circuits see Fig. 1. ).

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Sun, 19/12/2010 - 12:51