Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 7 (630245), pp. 20, 2021
Tendon actuation is one of the most prominent actuation principles for continuum robots. To date, a wide variety of modelling approaches has been derived to describe the deformations of tendon-driven continuum robots. Motivated by the need for a comprehensive overview of existing methodologies, this work summarizes and outlines state-of-the-art modelling approaches. In particular, the most relevant models are classified based on backbone representations and kinematic as well as static assumptions. Numerical case studies are conducted to compare the performance of representative modelling approaches from the current state-of-the-art, considering varying robot parameters and scenarios. The approaches show different performances in terms of accuracy and computation time. Guidelines for the selection of the most suitable approach for given designs of tendon-driven continuum robots and applications are deduced from these results.