Profile estimation of a cable-driven continuum robot with general cable routing
Cable-driven continuum robots find applications in bio-inspired robotics and medical robotics. Kinematics of cable-driven continuum robots, also called elephant-trunk robots, with straight cable routing is well studied in the literature. However, there are very few studies on the kinematics of continuum robots with general cable routing, despite its certain advantages. In this paper, an optimization based strategy is proposed to estimate the forward kinematics of a continuum robot with arbitrary and general cable routing. For a given displacement of the cables and cable routing, the pose of a continuum robot is obtained. Using experiments conducted on a cable driven robot, it is demonstrated that the optimization based model provides a good estimate of the forward kinematics with maximum error less than 5% of maximum tip deflection. The developed model is particularly useful since it may be possible to synthesize robots that can be deformed to desired shapes using the same theoretical framework.
KeywordsFlexible robots Forward kinematics General routing
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