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Nikhila CS NJ Supreetha

III year, E&C III year, E&C

BIET, Davangere BIET, Davangere
ABSTRACT This session covers an overview
of this technology, the capability of
Fractal Robots is an emerging Fractal Robots, the role they can play
new service that promises to in shaping our future.
revolutionize every aspect of human
technology. Fractal robots are objects 1. INTRODUCTION
made from cubic bricks that can be
Fractal Robot is a science
controlled by a computer to change
that promises to revolutionize
shape and reconfigure themselves
technology in a way that has never
into objects of different shapes.
been witnessed before.
These cubic motorized bricks
The principle behind Fractal
can be programmed to move and
Robots is very simple. You take some
shuffle themselves to change shape to
cubic bricks made of metals and
make objects like a house potentially
plastics, motorize them, put some
in a few seconds. This technology has
electronics inside them and control
the potential to penetrate every field
them with a computer and you get
of human work like construction,
machines that can change shape from
medicine, research and others. Fractal
one object to another. Fractal Robots
robots can enable buildings to be
are the hardware equivalent of
built within a day, help perform
computer software.
sensitive medical operations and can
assist in laboratory experiments. This What are Fractals?
technology is called Digital Matter A fractal is anything
Control and is implemented here with which has a substantial measure of
a machine called robotic cubes and exact or statistical self-similarity.
the entire technology is called Fractal Wherever you look at any part of its
Robot Technology. Also Fractal body it will be similar to the whole
Robots have built-in self repair which object.
means they can continue without
human intervention. Fractal Robots

The robot can be animated

around its joints in a uniform manner.
Such robots can be straight forward down the manufacturing price down
geometric patterns/images that look dramatically.
more like natural structures such as
plants. This patented product 2. FRACTAL ROBOT
however has a cubic structure. The MECHANISM
figure below shows a collection of
such cubes. 2.1 Simple Construction

The design is such that it has

fewest possible moving parts so that
they can be mass produced. Material
requirements have been made as

Fractal Robots start at flexible as possible so that they can

one size to which half size or double be built from metals, plastics and also

size cubes can be attached and to from ceramics and clays which are

each of these half size/double size more readily available in developing

cubes can be attached respectively nations.

endlessly. This is what makes them

The robotic cubes are
fractal. So a fractal cube can be of
assembled from face plates which
any size. The smallest expected size
have been manufactured and bolted
is between 1000 and 10,000 atoms
to a cubic frame as illustrated in
figure 1.
These cubes are embedded with
computer chips that control their
movement. Thus they can be
programmed to configure themselves
into any shape. This concept can be
used to build buildings, bridges,
instruments, tools and almost Figure 1
anything else you can think of. These
robots can assist in production and The cube therefore is hollow
manufacture of goods thus bringing and the plates have all the
mechanisms. Each of these face The cubes have inductive coupling to
plates have electrical contact pads transmit power and data signals. This
that allow power and data signals to means that there care no connectors
be routed from one robotic cube to on the surface of the robotic cube. If
another. The plates also have 45 the connectors are used, wiring
degree petals that push out of the problems may follow. Unlike contact
surface to engage the neighbouring pads, inductive coupling scale very
face that allows one robotic cube to well.
lock to its neighbour. The contact
pads could be on the plates 2.2 Movement Mechanism
themselves or be mounted separately
To see the internal mechanisms,
on a purpose built solenoid operated
we need a cross section of the plate as
illustrated in figure 4.

pad as shown in figure 2

The contact pads are arranged

symmetrically around four edges to
The petals are pushed in and out of
allow for rotational symmetry. These
the slots with the aid of a motor. Each
contacts are relayed out and only
petal could be directly driven by
transmit power when required to do
single motor or they could be driven
as a pair with the aid of a flexible
A 3D rendered image of what strip of metal.
the robotic cube looks like in practice
The petals have serrated edges
is shown in figure 3.
and they engage into the
neighbouring robotic cube through
the 45 degree slots. The serrated
edges of the petals are engaged by
either a gear wheel or a large screw
thread running the length of the slot compatibility and conversion issues
which slides the cubes along. possible.

2.3 Implementation of 1. Fractal O.S

computer control
A Fractal O. S uses a no of
All active robotic cubes have a
limited microcontroller to perform
1. Transparent data
basic operations such as the
communication and control of
2. Data compression at all
internal mechanism. The commands
to control a Fractal Robot are all
3. Awareness of built in
commands for movement such as
self repair.
move left, right etc and hence the
computer program to control the A Fractal O. S converts fractally
robot is greatly simplified in that written code into machine commands
whatever software that is developed for movement. The data signals are
for a large scale robot, it also applies fed to a bus (fractal bus). Its internal
to the smaller scale with no design consists if ROM, RAM and
modifications to the command some counters.
2. Fractal Bus
The largest component of the
A Fractal bus permits Hardware
Fractal Robot system is the software.
and software to merge seamlessly
Because shape changing robots are
into one unified data structure. It
fractals, everything around the robot
helps in sending and receiving
such as tooling, operating system,
fractally controlled data.
software etc must be fractally
organized in order to take advantage
of the fractal operation.

The easiest self repairment

Everything that is available to
implementation is cube replacement.
the O.S is containerized into fractal
data structures that permit possible
Figures 5 to 8 illustrates some images Instead of discarding its leg, the
taken from an animation. robot could reconfigure into a
different walking machine and carry
the broken parts within it. The faulty
parts are moved to places where their
reduced functionality can be

Figure 5

In respect of self repair, the

animations show how a walking
machine that has lost a leg rebuilds
itself by shifting cubes around from Figure 8
its body.
Regardless of how many
cubes are damaged, with this self
repair algorithm, cubes can detach
further and further back to a known
working point and then re-synthesize
lost structures. The more cubes there
are in the system, the more likely the
system can recover from damage. If
Figure 6 too many cubes are involved, then it
will require assistance from a human
operator. In such circumstances, the
system will stop until an operator
directs it to take remedial actions.

Figure 7
Bridge building
One of the biggest problems in terrain vehicle, making them totally
civil engineering is to get enough lethal to any passing war fighters,
bridges built as rapidly as possible for aircraft, tanks, and armoured
mass transit and rapid development personnel carriers; surviving shelling,
of an economy. Shape changing rockets and missiles.
robots are ideal for making all
manners of bridges from small to the Earth Quake Applications:
very largest.
Once a building is damaged by
The bridging technology earthquakes, the terrain inside (and
introduced here can be used to patch outside) the building is completely
up earthquake damaged bridges, and undefined. You need true multi-
they can also be used as a means for terrain vehicles with walking abilities
the shape changing robot to cross that can transform interchangeably
very rough terrain. The bridge into crawling machines to get past
assembly machine is built principally obstacles and reach the buildings and
from simple mass manufactured structures that need to be repaired
repeating cubes that move under from collapsing. Figure 9 and 10
computer control, and reshape into below show how a very large shape
different scaffolds in a matter of changing robot can enter a building
seconds. through a narrow window and rebuild
itself one on the other side.
Defense technology:

The machines even at the slow

speeds shown in animated figure
above can dodge incoming shells at
2 km distance by opening a hole in
any direction. While most tanks and
aircraft need to keep a 4 km distance
from each other to avoid being hit, Figure 9
this machine can avoid being hit and
return fire inside 2 km, while
carrying a formidable array of fractal
weapons integrated into a true multi-
not take much time for it to be used
in our everyday life. Using Fractal
Robots will help in saving economy;
time etc and they can be used even
for the most sensitive tasks. Also the
raw materials needed are cheap,
making it affordable for developing
Figure 10
nations also. This promises to

Space Exploration: revolutionize technology in a way

that has never been witnessed before.
Space is probably one of the best
application areas for fractal robots
because of its cheapness, built in self
repair and 100% automation

Space is extremely expensive and

if things go wrong and there is
nowhere to turn for help. Using
fractal robots it is possible to build
anything from space stations to
satellite rescue vehicles without any
human intervention.


It may take about 4-5 years for

this technology to be introduced and
tried out all over the world. But once
the first step is taken and its
advantages well understood it will