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The invention consists of a modular, self-reconfigurable cellular robot system with a plurality of interconnected individual modules, each of which has a tetrahedral frame with changeable shape.


Existing cellular robots commonly consist of rigid cube-shaped cells that can autonomously move and combine themselves into a larger superstructure, but only to a very limited (for example linear) shape. Existing structures that have a tetrahedral grid can only be assembled by hand or by an external mechanism whereas the change of the topology of the structure itself is not possible. In addition, there are numerous so-called smart materials and structures, but those are limited to slightly change their size and they cannot arbitrarily change their shape. However, these materials do not have any intelligence in the sense of an integrated computing unit, but are pure actuators or sensors.


The technology at hand is a mechatronic device which allows to morph autonomously into any given topological shape due to their tetrahedral and adaptive structure. The tetrahedral and autonomous units consist of a microcomputer, actuators, sensors and a power supply. By actively changing the length of the side of each tetrahedral cell the device may change its shape, or perform a movement, for example locomotion. Furthermore the device can adopt the form of certain figures - like tools - and therefor can carry out work. ARTS is revolutionary, since it allows to create a fully adaptive and autonomous changing structure, which is capable of self-building and repairing on the basis of individual, intelligent mechatronic cells.


  • The robotic system can transform into any three-dimensional shape
  • The robotic system can replace damaged cells and thus repair itself
  • There is almost no limitation for applications, from active scaffolding and space robots to design or deformable sculptures

Dr. David Lederbauer
+43 512 507-34403
Universität Innsbruck; ICT-Technologiepark, Technikerstraße 21a
6020 Innsbruck




  • AT A50848/2015 anhängig


modular robot, tetrahedral robot, self-reconfigurable robot, smart material, self-healing material

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