Title:
CONNECTION STRUCTURE BETWEEN BUILDING BLOCKS AND BUILDING BLOCKS CONNECTED THEREWITH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a connecting structure between building blocks and to a building block. The connecting structure according to the invention has a relatively simple structural design so as to be easily producible and releasable. Furthermore the connecting structure allows a quick modification of the orientation of the building blocks relative to one another. In the process an energy and/or information transmission is allowed between the building blocks at the same time.



Inventors:
Lange, Christian (Ostramondra, DE)
Oschuetz, Leonhard (Leipzig, DE)
Application Number:
14/634870
Publication Date:
09/10/2015
Filing Date:
03/01/2015
Assignee:
KINEMATICS GMBH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CEGIELNIK, URSZULA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Friedrich Von Rohrscheidt (7400 Whitepine Road Richmond VA 23237)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A connecting structure, comprising: connecting devices between building blocks of automation systems, wherein the connecting structure provides an energy or information connection between two building blocks connected by the connecting devices, wherein the connecting structure provides a friction locking or form locking plug connection between two building blocks connected by the connecting structure or wherein first magnetic connecting elements are provided, wherein the connecting structure provides a friction locking or form locking connection between two building blocks, wherein the friction or form locking is provided by at least two corresponding connecting elements, and wherein a first connecting element is rotatably arranged in a second connecting element and one of the first and second connecting elements includes at least one undercut and another corresponding connecting element of the second and first connecting elements includes at least one protrusion corresponding to the undercut.

2. The connecting structure according to claim 1, wherein the connecting structure is configured with a single joint or the connecting structure fixates an orientation of the building blocks relative to each other.

3. The connecting structure according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the connecting structure is configured so that a connection of the building blocks with one another is facilitated for at least two different orientations of the building blocks relative to each other.

4. The connecting structure according to claim 1, wherein the friction locking or form locking blocks a separation of the building blocks connected with one another by the connecting structure in a first direction, wherein the friction or form locking in a second direction inclined relative to the first direction at a right angle is provided disengageable, wherein at least one disengageable lock is provided which fixates the friction or form locking in the second direction, wherein the lock is provided as at least one device from a group of devices including: an element insertable into the first and the second building block so that the first and the second building block are connected; second magnetic connecting elements, and interlocking devices which are provided under a preload and which are unlockable by actuating a disengagement element.

5. The connecting structure according to claim 1, wherein a first connecting element is arranged at a first building block and a second connecting element corresponding with the first connecting element is arranged at a second building block or wherein it is provided that each building block includes at least one first connecting element and at least one second connecting element.

6. The connecting structure according to claim 5, wherein the first connecting element is configured pluggable into the second connecting element, and wherein it is advantageously provided that the first connecting element includes n-fold rotation axes wherein and >0, in particular n=4.

7. The connecting structure according to claim 1, wherein the first connecting element is configured rotatable by 360° in the second connecting element.

8. The connecting structure according to claim 6, wherein at least one first connecting element and at least one second connecting element of the connecting structure is configured electrically conductive.

9. The connecting structure according to claim 1, wherein at least one slip contact is provided or an energy connection or an information connection is configured so that a first polarity is provided for at least a first orientation of the building blocks relative to one another and a second polarity is provided at least for a second orientation.

10. A building block of an automatic system, wherein the building block includes the connecting structure according to claim 1, wherein the building block includes at least one side surface which is configured rectangular, square or circular.

11. A connecting structure, comprising: connecting devices between building blocks of automation systems, wherein the connecting structure provides an energy and information connection between two building blocks connected by the connecting devices, wherein the connecting structure provides a friction locking and form locking plug connection between two building blocks connected by the connecting structure, and wherein first magnetic connecting elements are provided, wherein the connecting structure provides a friction locking and form locking connection between two building blocks, wherein the friction and form locking is provided by at least two corresponding connecting elements, and wherein a first connecting element is rotatably arranged in a second connecting element and one of the first and second connecting elements includes at least one undercut and another corresponding connecting element of the second and first connecting elements includes at least one protrusion corresponding to the undercut.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of International Patent Application PCT/EP2013/002609 filed on Aug. 30, 2013 claiming priority from German Patent Application 10 2012 017 305.9 filed on Sep. 3, 2012, both of which are incorporated in their entirety by this reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to connecting structure between building blocks according to the preamble of claim 1 and a building block according to the preamble of claim 15.

Building blocks are known for example as passive structural elements/building blocks or also as modules (actuators) of automation systems where the building blocks advantageously form robots.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For example, DE 10 2010 062 217 A1 describes a kit system with several modules wherein each module is connected with any other module through a continuous electrical and information connection. This coupling is provided by a stereo jack connection. Additionally the modules are fixated relative to one another in three dimensions by a magnet connection which includes four magnet pairs which are arranged at a 90° angular offset from one another so that the square base surfaces of the modules can be arranged in four different orientations relative to one another. In the 45° positions that are arranged there between the modules can be disengaged from one another easily.

It is disadvantageous for this configuration that the magnetic connection supports a certain amount of load in a direction of the magnetic effect, however it is very susceptible to shear forces or forces perpendicular to the magnetic which is also prone to damage the coupling. Furthermore magnetic forces cannot be increased indefinitely since electromagnets typically cannot be used or an increase of the magnetic forces makes it difficult to disengage the modules from each other.

WO 99/91261 A1 discloses a reconfigurable modular robot connection. Herein the different modules are connected with one another through corresponding flange elements which are clamped together with a circumferential brace. This is not a one joint connection of the two modules but a two joint connection since additional connectors in this case the brace are required.

It is a disadvantage for this configuration that a change of an orientation of the modules relative to one another is only possible with great complexity and using tools for disengaging the brace. Additionally an initial connection of the modules is quite complex.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus it is an object of the invention to provide a connecting structure which overcomes these disadvantages. In particular the connecting structure shall be mechanically rather simple so that it can be engaged and disengaged again in a simple manner. Furthermore the connecting structure shall advantageously facilitate a quick change of the orientation of the building blocks relative to one another. Advantageously an energy and/or information transmission shall be provided between the building blocks.

The object is achieved by a connecting structure including connecting devices between building blocks, in particular elements and modules of automation systems, wherein the connecting structure provides an energy and/or information connection between two building blocks connected by the connecting devices, wherein i) the connecting structure provides a friction locking and/or form locking plug connection between two building blocks connected by the connecting structure and/or wherein ii) first magnetic connecting elements are provided, wherein, the connecting structure provides a friction locking and/or form locking connection between two building blocks, wherein the friction and/or form locking is provided by at least two corresponding connecting elements, characterized in that a first connecting element is rotatably arranged in a second connecting element and one of the first and second connecting elements includes at least one undercut and another corresponding connecting element of the second and first connecting elements includes at least one protrusion corresponding to the undercut.

The object is also achieved by a building block, in particular an element or module of an automatic system, characterized in that the building block includes the connecting structure as described supra wherein the building block advantageously includes at least one side surface which is configured rectangular, square or circular

Advantageous embodiments are provided in the dependent claims.

The inventors have found that the technical problem can be solved in a surprisingly simple manner in that i) the connecting structure provides a friction and/or form locking plug connection between two building blocks connected therewith and/or that ii) the connecting structure provides a friction and/or form locking connection between two building blocks connected therewith and additional first magnetic connecting elements are provided. The friction locking and/or form locking plug connection generates a resistance against a separation of the connection of the building blocks at least in a direction perpendicular to the connection plane between the building blocks. Since this is a plug connection this connection can be established in a particularly simple manner.

In an advantageous embodiment the connecting structure is configured with a single joint. Thus the connecting structure is particularly user friendly.

In a particularly advantageous embodiment a self-centering feature is provided so that the connection can be established in an even simpler and fool proof manner.

Furthermore it is particularly advantageous when the connection interlocks in particular positions, for example in 90° angle positions, whereas a joining is possible from all positions.

In an advantageous embodiment it is provided that the connecting structure fixates the building blocks with respect to their relative orientation. This prevents a rotation of the building blocks relative to one another so that the overall structure can transfer torsion forces.

Particularly advantageously the connecting structure is configured so that a connection between the building blocks is facilitated for at least two different orientations of the building blocks relative to one another. Thus, a user can easily provide different orientations without having to use different building blocks.

In a particularly advantageous embodiment it is provided that the friction and/or form locking blocks a separation of the building blocks connected with one another by the connecting structures in a first direction, the blocking direction, whereas the friction and/or form locking is provided in a disengage able manner in a second direction, the disengagement direction which is inclined relative to the blocking direction, advantageously configured perpendicular thereto. “Direction” in this context does not only relate to a linear direction but also to a direction of rotation.

It is advantageous in this context when at least one disengageable lock is provided which fixates the friction and/or form locking in the disengagement direction. Thus, a connection of the building blocks can be provided that is fixated with respect to all load directions and which only disengages unintentionally when fracture is involved. The materials and material thicknesses have to be selected according to the load.

Advantageously the lock is provided at least as one device from the group of the following devices: i) an element that is insertable into the first and the second building block so that it connects the first and the second building block ii) second magnetic connection elements and iii) interlocking devices which are advantageously provided under a preload and which are unlockable by actuating a disengagement element. This way the lock can be implemented in a particularly simple manner. In case of the second magnetic connecting elements no mechanical lock is provided but a lock within limits of the magnetic effect.

Advantageously the form and/or friction locking is provided by at least two connecting elements that correspond with each other, wherein it is advantageously provided that a first connecting element is arranged at a first building block and a connecting element that corresponds with the first connecting element is arranged at a second building block and/or it is advantageously provided that each building block includes at least a first connecting element and at least a second connecting element. Thus in the second case the building block has both types of connecting elements and can thus be joined with identical building blocks.

In an advantageous embodiment is provided that the first connecting element is configured so that it is insertable into the second connecting element. In order to further reinforce the connection it can be additionally provided that also the second connecting element is configured insertable into the first connecting element. In this case there are individual portions of the two connecting elements which at least partially envelop portions of the other connecting element.

It is particularly advantageously provided in this context that the first connecting element has a n-fold rotation axes, wherein n>0, in particular n=4. Then, depending on a geometry of a connecting surface different orientations of the building blocks relative to one another can be implemented in a particularly simple manner. For example a four-fold rotation axes have to be used for a square surface, a two-fold rotation axes for a rectangular surface and a three-fold rotation axis for a triangular surface.

In an advantageous embodiment it is provided that the first connecting element is configured rotatable in the second connecting element in particular rotatable by 360°. Then the orientation of the building blocks relative to one another can be changed in a particularly simple manner without having to disengage their connection.

For this embodiment but also for other embodiments it can be provided for example that one of the first and second connecting elements has at least one undercut and the corresponding other connecting element from the second and first connecting elements includes at least one protrusion that corresponds to the undercut.

The electrical or information connection can be implemented in a particularly simple manner when at least a first and a second connecting element of the connecting arrangement is configured so that it conducts electrical power.

Alternatively or additionally at least one slip contact, advantageously 3 or 4 slip contacts can be provided or indirect contacts can be used instead of directly acting contacts wherein the indirect contacts are based on a transmission between transmitters and receivers like e.g. IR transmitters and IR receivers.

In an advantageous embodiment of the connecting arrangement according to the invention the energy and/or information connection is provided so that a first polarity is provided at least for a first orientation of the building blocks relative to one another and a second polarity is provided for at least a second orientation. Then an action of an actuator connected with the building blocks can be changed by changing the orientation of the building blocks relative to one another without having to reprogram the actuator, wherein the actuator provides at least one of the effects of length variation, rotation, pivoting etc.

The invention also relates to a building block according to the invention, in particular an element and module of an automation system which is characterized in that it includes the connecting structure according to the invention. Thus, the building block includes the devices which have to be provided for implementing the connecting structure at one of the building blocks that are to be connected with one another.

Advantageously the building block includes at least one side surface which is rectangular, square, triangular or circular, however also special shapes like cross or star shapes are feasible.

Advantageous embodiment of the connecting structure according to the invention are for example the following:

1. Two surfaces of two building blocks which surfaces are to be connected respectively include four magnet elements which are polarity inverted with respect to the magnet elements arranged in the other building block. Alternatively magnets can be provided on one side and metal or iron elements can be provided on the other side. Additionally one or plural quadruple form locking elements can be arranged in each surface which substantially prevent a rotation of the building blocks relative to each other, namely for example four groove shaped recesses in one surface (maternal surface) and four corresponding groove shaped protrusions in the other surface (paternal surface).

2. Two surfaces to be connected of two building blocks have the following properties. A first surface (paternal surface) has four cross shaped plug elements that are arranged in a square and the other surface (maternal surface) includes four cross shaped receivers that are arranged in a corresponding square. The dimensions of the plug elements are receivers are advantageously selected so that a press fit is provided. Instead of cross shaped elements also other geometries are provided for example circular, square, star shaped, torques etc.

3. Two surfaces to be connected of two building blocks have the following properties: in a first surface a centrally arranged groove is provided which respectively includes four pairs of undercuts that are arranged in intervals of 90° relative to one another and which extend in the surface into the groove. This is the maternal surface. The other surface, the paternal surface includes a centrally arranged ring which corresponds to the groove. At this ring four pairs of opposite protrusions are arranged with an offset of 90° relative to one another which protrusions extend in the surface. The elements of the groove and of the ring are thus sized so that a preload of the two surfaces is provided. Additionally groove shaped recesses can be provided distributed in both surfaces and bar shaped protrusions corresponding thereto in order to prevent an unintentional rotation of the surfaces relative to one another.

These embodiments can also be combined amongst each other. In a cube shaped building block for example opposite surfaces can be configured as paternal and maternal surface in one of the three embodiments.

Overall all features according to the invention can be combined with one another unless stated differently.

With respect to an exact configuration of additional elements of a system of building blocks, there effects and the advantages achieve therewith reference is made to DE 10 2010 062 217 A1 which is incorporated in its entirety by this reference.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Features and advantages of the instant invention are now described based on advantageous embodiments with reference to drawing figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a building block according to the invention in a first advantageous embodiment in a perspective view;

FIG. 2a, b illustrates the building block according to FIG. 1 in two top views of the maternal surface and the paternal surface;

FIG. 3 illustrates the connecting structure of the building block according to FIG. 1 during coupling and decoupling;

FIG. 4 illustrates the connecting structure according to FIG. 3 in coupled condition during arrangement of a first lock.

FIG. 5 illustrates the connecting structure according to FIG. 3 in coupled condition during arrangement of a second lock;

FIG. 6 illustrates the building block according to the invention in a second advantageous embodiment in a perspective view;

FIG. 7a,b illustrate the building block according to FIG. 6 in two top views of the maternal surface and the paternal surface;

FIG. 8 illustrates the connecting structure of the building block according to FIG. 6 during coupling;

FIG. 9 illustrates the connecting structure of a building block in a third advantageous embodiment during coupling;

FIG. 10 illustrates the building block according to the invention in a fourth advantageous embodiment in a perspective view;

FIG. 11a, b illustrates the building block according to the invention according to FIG. 10 in two top views of the maternal surface and the paternal surface;

FIG. 12 illustrates the connecting structure of the building block according to FIG. 10 during coupling and decoupling;

FIG. 13 illustrates the building block according to the invention in a fifth advantageous embodiment in a perspective view;

FIGS. 14 a, b illustrate the building block according to the invention according to FIG. 13 in two top views of the maternal surface and the paternal surface;

FIG. 15 illustrates the connecting structure of the building block according to the invention according to FIG. 13 during coupling;

FIG. 16a, b illustrate the connecting structure of the building block according to FIG. 13 in two conditions with different polarity;

FIG. 17 illustrates the building block according to the invention in a sixth advantageous embodiment in a perspective view;

FIG. 18 illustrates the connecting structure of the building block according to the invention according to FIG. 17 during coupling;

FIG. 19 illustrates the building block according to the invention in a seventh advantageous embodiment in a perspective view; and

FIG. 20 illustrates the connecting structure of the building block according to the invention according to FIG. 19 during coupling.

In FIGS. 1-20 identical or equivalent elements are provided with identical or equivalent reference numerals.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1-5 schematically illustrate a first embodiment of the building block 1, 1′ according to the invention and the connecting structure 3 implemented there with in different views.

It is evident that the building block 1, 1′ according to the invention is cube shaped and includes individual surfaces 5, 7 that are configured as paternal surfaces 5 and maternal surfaces 12.

The paternal surface 5 has an annular protruding bar 9 which is provided with protrusions 11, 13 that are arranged parallel to the cube edges in pairs, wherein the protrusions extend parallel to the surface 5. The pairs of protrusions 11, 13 are thus arranged at an angular offset of 90° about the center of the surface 5 at the annular bar 9. A protruding coupling plug 15 with three plug contacts 17 which are configured spring elastic is provided concentric with the annular bar 9. Protruding bar elements 19, 21 are arranged about the annular bar 9.

The maternal surface 7 includes an annular groove 23 which is centrally arranged in the surface 7. The annular groove 23 includes undercuts 24, 25 parallel to the cube edges respectively offset by 90° relative to one another and recesses 26, 27 arranged offset to one another by 45°. A coupling recess 29 with three annular slip ring contacts 29a, 29b, 29c is arranged concentric to the annular groove 23.

The height of the protruding coupling plug 15 and the depth of the coupling recess 29 are thus matched so that the contacts 17 sit spring elastic on the respective slip ring contact surfaces 29a, 29b, 29c in connected condition of the connecting structure 3 so that an electrical connection for transmitting electrical energy or electrical information signals is facilitated.

Groove shaped recesses 31, 33 are arranged about the ring groove 23 wherein the recesses interact with protruding bar elements 19, 21. In connected condition of the connecting structure 3 the bar elements 19, 21 engage the opposite groove shaped recesses 31, 33 and thus prevent unintentional rotation of the building blocks 1, 1′ relative to one another since the form locking or friction locking provided by the engagement has to be overcome first.

Each building block 1, 1′ respectively includes a paternal surface 5 and five maternal surfaces 7. Additionally the maternal surfaces 7 include four recesses 35, that are configured cross shaped and arranged in a square, wherein additional elements can be inserted into the recesses.

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates the coupling (bottom) and the decoupling (top) of the connecting structure 3 according to the invention of the two building blocks 1, 1′ according to the first advantageous embodiment. It is evident that the two building blocks 1, 1′ are supported offset by 45° relative to one another with respect to their edges during coupling and thereafter the paternal surface 5 of a first building block 1 is inserted in a direction A into the maternal surface 7 of a second building block 1′. Thus, the connecting elements 9, 11, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 which are configured fitted penetrate each other. More precisely the protrusions 11, 13 engage the recesses 26, 27.

In this 45° orientation the protruding bar elements 19, 21 of the paternal surface 5 contact the maternal surface 7 which yields a certain offset of the two surfaces. Subsequently the building blocks 1, 1′ are rotated relative to each other in a direction B or also opposite thereto by 45°. The protrusions 11, 13 and the undercuts 24, 25 are configured slightly beveled. This way in spite of the offset the protrusions 11, 13 can be moved behind the undercuts 24, 25 wherein a particular material inherent elasticity of the protrusions 24, 25 is used so that a press fit is achieved quickly. After a complete 45° rotation the edges of the two building blocks 1, 1′ are oriented parallel to one another and the bar elements 19, 21 engage the roof shaped recesses 31, 33 which yields a fitted joint. Fits are also provided between the protrusions 11, 13 and the undercuts 24, 25, wherein as an alternative to generating a particular preload of the connecting structure also a press fit between the protrusions 11, 13 and the undercuts 24, 25 can be provided.

The decoupling is simply performed in that the building blocks 1, 1′ are rotated relative to one another while applying a disengagement force relative to the friction and form locking connection of the bar elements 19, 21 and the groove shaped protrusions 31, 33 by 45° in a direction C relative to one another and thereafter the paternal surface 5 is disengaged from the maternal surface 7 in a direction D.

Due to the continuous undercuts 24, 25 the building blocks 1, 1′ can be rotated at will in connected condition namely even by 360° so that the entire orientation of the building blocks 1, 1′ can be changed at any time.

Though the connecting structure 3 is secured against rotation already due to the bar elements 19, 21 engaging the groove shaped recesses 31, 33 additional rotational locking devices can be provided as illustrated in an exemplary manner in FIGS. 4 and 5.

In FIG. 4 two small locking elements 37, 37′ are used which in turn have four maternal surfaces 39 which respectively include a cross shaped recess 35 into which the cross shaped pin 40 of one of the two respective paternal surfaces 41 is insertable with a press fit. The two locking elements 37, 37′ are now initially plugged together in the direction E, so that two paternal surfaces 41, 41′ are jointly oriented. The pins (not visible) of the paternal surfaces are then inserted into the respective recesses 35 of the building blocks 1, 1′. Thus the building blocks 1, 1′ are also secured against rotation beyond the disengagement force of the friction and form locking connection of the bar elements 19, 21 and the groove shaped recesses 31, 33.

An alternative solution is illustrated in FIG. 5 which includes a plate element 43 which in turn has two cross shaped pins (not visible) that are insertable with a press fit into the recesses 35 of the building blocks.

FIGS. 6-8 schematically illustrate a second advantageous embodiment of the building blocks 50, 50′ according to the invention and the connecting structure implemented therewith.

It is evident that this building block 50, 50′ also includes a paternal surface 53 and five maternal surfaces 55, wherein the paternal surface 53 includes four pins 40 with cross shaped sections that are arranged in a square and the maternal surface 55 includes four cross shaped recesses 35 that are arranged corresponding thereto. The pins 40 and the recesses 35 are identical with respect to their configuration and sizing to the pins and recesses 35, 40 of the first advantageous embodiment so that a press fit is also provided in this case. Additionally the paternal surface 53 includes the protruding coupling plug 15 and the maternal surface includes a coupling recess 29 of the first advantageous embodiment.

FIG. 8 illustrates the coupling of the connecting structure 51. It is evident that the two building blocks 50, 50′ are simply inserted into one another in that the pins 40 of the paternal surface 53 engage the recesses 35 of the maternal surface with a press fit. This also brings the spring elastic contacts 17 of the coupling plug 15 into contact with the respective slip contact surfaces 29a, 29b, 29c. This connecting structure is secured against a rotation of the two building blocks 50, 50′ relative to one another and also secured against an extraction against the coupling direction G by the friction locking of the press fit of the pins 40 inserted into the recesses 35.

FIG. 9 schematically illustrates a third advantageous embodiment of the connecting structure 60 according to the invention which the building blocks 61, 61′, 61″ respectively include a paternal surface 5 and four maternal surfaces 7 according to the first advantageous embodiment and a paternal surface 53 according to the second advantageous embodiment. Thus, a mere plug connection in the direction G can be implemented since the paternal surface 53 is configured compatible with the maternal surface 7 (illustrated on the bottom), thus also a plug and turn connection with the connection directions A, B (illustrated on top).

In FIGS. 10-12 a fourth advantageous embodiment of the building blocks 70, 70′ and the connecting structure 71 implemented therewith is illustrated.

It is evident that this building block 70, 70′ also includes a paternal surface 73 and five maternal surfaces 75 wherein the paternal surface 73 includes four magnets 75 arranged in a square and the maternal surface 77 includes four magnets 79 arranged corresponding thereto. Additionally the paternal surface 73 includes the protruding coupling plug 15 and the maternal surface 77 includes a coupling recess 81 in which individual contacts 83, 85 are provided which can be electrically connected independently from each other instead of the contacts in the first advantageous embodiment. Instead also the slip contacts 29a, 29b, 29c according to the first advantageous embodiment can be used. Additionally the maternal surfaces 77 have recesses 87 which are configured circular with tailored waist with waist shaped constrictions 89. Instead also cross shaped recesses 35 according to the first advantageous embodiment can be used. Eventually the paternal surface 73 includes protruding bar elements 91 respectively arranged between two magnets 75 and the maternal surface includes four corresponding groove shaped recesses 93.

FIG. 12 illustrates the coupling (left side) and the decoupling (right side) of the connecting structure 71. It is evident that the two building blocks 70, 70′ are joined in a simple manner, thus also the spring elastically supported contact 17 of the coupling plug 15 come in contact with the respective contacts 83, 85. Herein there is a central plug connection through the coupling plug 15 and the coupling recess 81 which, however, is configured much less sensitive than for example an audio jack connection. Thus, the building blocks 70, 70′ can be joined in any orientation relative to one another. The effect of the magnets 75, 79 always brings the building blocks into a correct alignment and simultaneously a centering is provided through the conical configuration of the plug connection of coupling plug 15 and coupling recess 81. This centering is also provided in the advantageous first, second and third embodiment.

Apparently, this connecting structure 51 is secured against a rotation of the two building blocks 50, 50′ relative to each other and relative to a pull out against the coupling direction, thus perpendicular to the surfaces 73, 77 through a magnetic effect of the magnets, wherein particularly strong magnets can be used in this application in order to increase load bearing capability. For strong magnets 75, 79 the decoupling is performed through a 45° rotation as illustrated in FIG. 8. Otherwise also a kinking or shearing could be used in order to disengage the connecting structure 71.

FIGS. 13-16b schematically illustrate a fifth advantageous embodiment of the building blocks 100, 100′ according to the invention and of the connecting structure 101 implemented therewith.

It is evident that this building block 100, 100′ also includes a paternal surface 103 and five maternal surfaces 105, wherein the paternal surface 103 includes nine pins 107 with cross shaped cross sections arranged in a square pattern which corresponds to the pins 40 from the second embodiment and the maternal surface 105 includes nine corresponding recesses 109 with a cross shaped cross section wherein a press fit is provided in turn. Each of the pins 107 and the recesses 109 is configured at least partially electrically conducted so that this provides contacts for an energy supply and signal forwarding simultaneously. It is advantageously provided that the outer diagonally opposing pins 111 are configured as a “−” pole and perpendicular thereto the outer diagonally opposing pins 113 are configured as a “+” pole of the energy supply. Then a polarity reversal can be provided by rotating the building blocks 100, 100′ by 90° relative to one another as illustrated in FIGS. 16a and 16b which facilitates changing an effect of actuators in a simple manner without having to perform a reprograming.

FIGS. 17 and 18 schematically illustrate a sixth advantageous embodiment of the building blocks 110, 110′ according to the invention and of the connecting structure 123 implemented therewith. It is evident that this building block 110, 110′ also includes a paternal surface 111 and five maternal surfaces 113 wherein the paternal surface 111 includes four T-shaped rotation symmetrical pins arranged in a square and the maternal surface 113 includes four T-shaped grooves 117′ corresponding to the pins in a diamond pattern which yields a dove tail support which provides a fitted joint. The contact is provided by the coupling plug which interacts with its plug contacts 17 with a slip contact 119 arranged at an intersection of two grooves 118, 118′ configured corresponding thereto. This slip contact 119 is configured essentially identical to the coupling recess 29, wherein the recess is formed here by the grooves 118, 118′.

When connecting the building blocks 110, 110′ to form the connecting structure 123 the pins 115 are inserted into the respective grooves 117, 117′ along the connecting direction H. In order to interlock the connection tapers 121 are provided at intersection points 120 of two grooves 117, 117′ so that the intersection points 120 are enveloped by press fits however a fitted joint is provided at the intersection point 120 itself. The connecting structure is thus secured against a separation perpendicular to the paternal surface 111 and the maternal surface 113 and a disengagement in the direction H is prevented in the press fits by the tapers 121. The change of the orientation of the building blocks 110, 110′ relative to another is performed in a simple manner by re plugging.

In addition to the plug contacts 17 at least some of the pins 115 can be configured at least partially electrically conductive so that this forms contacts for energy supply or signal forwarding wherein respective opposite contacts have to be provided in the intersection points.

FIGS. 19 and 20 schematically illustrate a seventh advantageous embodiment of the building blocks 130, 130′ and of the connecting structure 121 implemented therewith.

It is evident that this building block 130, 130′ also includes a paternal surface 133 and five maternal surfaces 135 wherein the paternal surface 113 includes nine rotation symmetrical pins 115 according to the sixth embodiment wherein the pins are T-shaped and arranged in a square pattern and the maternal surface 135 includes 9 corresponding T-shaped grooves 117a, 117a′ according to the sixth embodiment which in turn provides a dove tailed support which provides a fitted joint. In order to interlock the connection tapers 121 are also provided at the intersection points 120a of two grooves 117a, 117a′ so that the intersection points 120a are enveloped by press fits however a fitted joint is provided at the intersection point 120a itself.

The electrical contacts (not illustrated) are configured in the intersection points 120a and each of the pins 115 is configured at least partially electrically conductive so that contacts for energy supply and signal conduction are provided. This yields the same options for polarity reversal as in the fifth advantageous embodiment.

When connecting the building blocks 130, 130′ to form the connecting structure 131 the pins 115 are inserted into the respective grooves 117a, 117a′ along the connection direction I. Thus the connecting structure 131 is secured against a separation perpendicular to the paternal surface 133 and the maternal surface 135 and thus also a disengagement in the direction I is prevented in the press fit by the tapers 121. A change of an orientation of the building blocks 130 130′ relative to one another is performed in a simple manner by re plugging.