Toward Improving Path Following Motion - Hybrid Continuum Robot Design
Amanov, E; Granna, J; Burgner-Kahrs, J
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4666-4672, 2017
Continuum manipulators possess the ability totravel on nonlinear paths and avoid obstacles in confinedenvironments. A variety of designs were proposed for severalapplications, such as minimally invasive surgery or inspectionsand maintenance in hazardous spaces. While hyperredundantrobots can follow a path on the large scale, path followingbehavior on small the scale is still a challenge. Only a limitednumber of paths can be followed by small continuum robots dueto design constraints such as fixed curvatures or fixed segmentlengths. For most applications, continuum robot parametershave to be optimized and selected according to specific taskand design constraints. This is time consuming and limits theutilization of the manipulator to specific application scenarios.In this work, we propose a hybrid continuum robot design toovercome these disadvantages and offer a universal tool whichis able to follow any constant curvature path. The design iscomprised of a telescopic composition of several tendon drivenpatterned elastic tubes. Each one can be translated and bentindependently. With this design we achieve improved pathdeviation errors (max 0.6 mm) in comparison to previouslyproposed continuum robots in simulation. We prove the pathfollowing behavior on random paths with a two segmentprototype robot with overall outer diameter of 6 mm in anexperimental setup with average path deviation errors lowerthan 5 mm.