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Petras Swissler and Michael Rubenstein Win the 2021 International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems Best Student Paper Award

The paper “ReactiveBuild: Environment-Adaptive Self-Assembly of Amorphous Structures,” by Ph.D. student Petras Swissler and his adviser Michael Rubenstein was selected as the recipient of the Best Student Paper Award at the 2021 International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems.

The award-winning paper describes an innovative algorithm that challenges longstanding assumptions in the field of robotic self-assembly. Specifically, the paper describes a method by which robots with very little sensing and limited communication abilities are able to spontaneously create amorphous structures without the prescription of an a priori shape. These innovations will be critical for the pursuit of large-scale robotic self-assembly in unknown environments. Such self-assembly will be vital for the use of self-assembling robotic systems in disaster areas, where limited time and resources preclude the design of specific structures; workers will be able to arbitrarily deploy these robotic systems to form structures such as supports and bridges.

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