Sensors and gripper arms can simply be attached and removed as needed. You dont even have to be a specialist to quickly and easily replace a defective part, which makes the robots extremely flexible and economical to operate.
Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum: As sensors, computers, actuators, and batteries decrease in size and increase in efficiency, it becomes possible to make robots much smaller without sacrificing a whole lot of capability. There’s a lower limit on usefulness, however, if you’re making a robot that needs to interact with humans or human-scale objects. You can continue to leverage shrinking components if you make robots that are modular: in other words, big robots that are made up of lots of little robots.
In some ways, it’s more complicated to do this, because if one robot is complicated, robots tend to be complicated. If you can get all of the communication and coordination figured out, though, a modular system offers tons of advantages: robots that come in any size you want, any configuration you want, and that are exceptionally easy to repair and reconfigure on the fly.
MIT’s ChainFORM is an interesting take on this idea: it’s an evolution of last year’s LineFORM multifunctional snake robot that introduces modularity to the system, letting you tear of a strip of exactly how much robot you need, and then reconfigure it to do all kinds of things. Cont'd...
The demands that modern intralogistics place on the used drives are high: In many instances, they must be capable of releasing tremendous forces under extremely confined conditions, also work reliably in continuous or stop-and-go operation, and oftentimes they must also perform highly precise positioning tasks. The speed also plays an important role, after all, many thousand orders need to be processed every day in large warehouses. Drive systems from FAULHABER have often demonstrated their performance here during sorting and transporting as well as with storage and retrieval. Thanks to their modular design, the motors can be combined with a variety of high-resolution encoders for precise positioning tasks and with high-performance gearheads for high torque requirements. There are also compact motion controllers that can either be integrated in the drives or arranged externally.