My design is inspired by the Robotics Self-reproducing machines by Victor Zykov, Efstathios Mytilinaios, Bryant Adams and Hod Lipson.
Mobility & Physical linkage
The wheel configuration allows the robot to move quickly around the space. The probe provides physical linkage and also serves as breaking system and provide power, data and structural stability when docking.
The energy is most likely to be supplied externally. The Probe or the “red stick”, would help each modular robots share the energy and recycle the energy from breaking.
Process the raw materials into finished components
This is hard to achieve with the current form and it is difficult in general to make a complete Self-Reproduction system.
There are three major component for this modular robots, the wheel, the center housing, and the probe. Making them out of the raw materials might require more advance structure.
We supplied 3 unassembled modular robots in the field. Each robot would contain power and the data that it is trying to copy. For example, the robot can be in groups of 3 and help finding and assembling 3 more modular robots, then split back to groups of 3.
In this case, the raw materials is a complex structure, but when it’s assembled, it can perform more complex tasks.