TinyTeRP: A Tiny Terrestrial Robotic Platform

  Introduction     Research 
  Hardware 
  Software 
  Resources 

Named after the Terrapin, the mascot of the University of Maryland, the TinyTeRP is a centimeter-scale, open-source robotic platform with modular sensing capabilities that is designed for researchers of swarm and distributed robotics.

The TinyTeRP is designed with cost as a top priority - an assembled TinyTeRP costs approximately $50 and can be produced with common off-the-shelf components. Further, each base TinyTeR
P has a footprint of 3 cm2, allowing a large number of robots to be deployed on a table-top test bed. Although other similar robotic platforms have been developed, the TinyTeRP is unique in its modular design and feature set at this scale and cost. The platform hardware and software are fully released under open source licenses.

The base platform can control its motion using Received Radio Signal Strength data. An additional accelerometer+gyroscope module can be used to correct robot trajectories and for other control. A light module can be used to test pheromone-based swarming algorithms.

Ten TinyTeRPs in base configuration,
with a US quarter for scale.
The contents of this site should be sufficient for an independent researcher to produce and utilize fully functional versions of the TinyTeRP! Instructions, design details, and related software can be found on the 'Hardware' and 'Software' pages.


The paper entitled "TinyTeRP: A Tiny Terrestrial Robotic Platform with Modular Sensing", accepted to ICRA 2013, is hosted below. A subsequent work, entitled "Parallel manipulation of millirobot swarms using projected light fields", was accepted to ISER2016 and is also hosted below. For work this platform has supported, see the 'Research' tab.

For developer contact information and context for the project, see the 'Resources' tab.




Ten TinyTeRPs with alternate chassis and inertial and light-sensing modules attached. US nickel for scale.
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  1721k v. 1 Jun 10, 2013, 2:14 PM Sarah Bergbreiter
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  7604k v. 1 Oct 9, 2016, 12:09 PM Christopher Lawler