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# Hiding Sliding Cubes: Why Reconfiguring Modular Robots Is Not Easy (Media Exposition)

## File

LIPIcs.SoCG.2020.78.pdf
• Filesize: 3.49 MB
• 5 pages

## Acknowledgements

We thank Tim Ophelders for his help with the computational verification of the properties of our configuration.

## Cite As

Tillmann Miltzow, Irene Parada, Willem Sonke, Bettina Speckmann, and Jules Wulms. Hiding Sliding Cubes: Why Reconfiguring Modular Robots Is Not Easy (Media Exposition). In 36th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 164, pp. 78:1-78:5, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2020.78

## Abstract

Face-connected configurations of cubes are a common model for modular robots in three dimensions. In this abstract and the accompanying video we study reconfigurations of such modular robots using so-called sliding moves. Using sliding moves, it is always possible to reconfigure one face-connected configuration of n cubes into any other, while keeping the robot connected at all stages of the reconfiguration. For certain configurations Ω(n²) sliding moves are necessary. In contrast, the best current upper bound is O(n³). It has been conjectured that there is always a cube on the outside of any face-connected configuration of cubes which can be moved without breaking connectivity. The existence of such a cube would immediately imply a straight-forward O(n²) reconfiguration algorithm. However, we present a configuration of cubes such that no cube on the outside can move without breaking connectivity. In other words, we show that this particular avenue towards an O(n²) reconfiguration algorithm for face-connected cubes is blocked.

## Subject Classification

##### ACM Subject Classification
• Theory of computation → Computational geometry
##### Keywords
• Sliding cubes
• Reconfiguration
• Modular robots

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## References

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