Reconfigurable computing platform for small-scale resource-constrained robot.

Thumbnail Image

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Reconfigurable computing platform for small-scale resource-constrained robot.

Published Date




Thesis or Dissertation


Specific applications often require robots of small size for reasons such as costs, access, and stealth. Small-scale robots impose constraints on resources such as power or space for modules, but they still require great functionality to do challenging tasks such as surveillance, urban search and rescue, application-specific sensing, robotic assembly, etc. This thesis develops a reconfigurable computing platform for small-scale resource-constrained robots that allows rapid deployment of available hardware and software for a specific task. Resource-adaptive control is introduced where control parameters can be changed with respect to the resource usage such as power consumption, area, or execution speed, as well as plant change. The use of a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is essential in providing the flexibility in hardware for both sensor interfacing and hardware-accelerated computation. In this study, reconfiguration is achieved by two steps; static reconfiguration and dynamic reconfiguration. This thesis utilizes reconfiguration technology in order to solve issues on resources and functionality. Prior to executing a task, a robot needs to be equipped with necessary sensors and actuators. This thesis introduces a new scheme of configuring a robot system before deploying a robot into a field, which is called static reconfiguration. Static reconfigurability of the hardware manifests itself in the form of a "morphing bus" architecture that permits the modular connection of various sensors. It is a novel sensor bus in the fact that no bus interface circuitry is required on a sensor side - the bus "morphs" to accommodate the signals of the sensor. Dynamic reconfiguration or run-time reconfiguration is performed in order to maximize the resource utilization in terms of power, area and speed while the robot is executing tasks. A software architecture for hardware/software dynamic reconfigurability is proposed and it provides for the reallocation of hardware and software resources at run time as the mobile, resource-constrained robots encounter unknown environmental conditions that render various sensors ineffective. A novel strategy to search a configuration tree is presented and metrics for cost functions in the tree are introduced. Resource-adaptive controller can modify control parameters, or change the order of a plant model, or even choose a different control algorithm by examining resource utilization during dynamic reconfiguration.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2010. Major: Electrical Engineering. Advisors: Tryphon T. Georgiou, Thomas A. Posbergh. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 152 pages, A-M. Ill. (some col.)

Related to




Series/Report Number

Funding information

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Kim, Byung Hwa. (2010). Reconfigurable computing platform for small-scale resource-constrained robot.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.