IEEE Robotics & Automation Letters, 3 (3), pp. 1793-1800, 2018
Dual-arm continuum robots have been considered mainly for teleoperation, where human perception and cognition permitted coordination, and collision-free motions. This letter describes theoretical investigations on automation of dual-arm robots constituted of two concentric tube continuum manipulators. An optimization algorithm is developed in order to improve triangulation ability of the robot and thus enhance the arms' collaborative operation. This a priori knowledge provides design directives in order to fulfill integration, reachability, and collaboration requirements. Further, automatic control is assigned to perform online safe collaboration tasks. Our initial exploration is validated with numerical simulations using robot designs based on the optimization algorithm output. The control algorithm-based on the relative Jacobian and Cosserat rod modeling-performs simultaneously with less than 1% of the total robot's length of accuracy for both relative end-effector distance control and trajectory tracking.