Profile estimation of a cable-driven continuum robot with general cable routing

  • K. P. Ashwin
  • Ashitava GhosalEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Mechanisms and Machine Science book series (Mechan. Machine Science, volume 73)


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.


Flexible robots Forward kinematics General routing 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Kim, S., Laschi, C., Trimmer, B. : Soft robotics: a bioinspired evolution in robotics. Trends. Biotechnol. 31(5), 287-294(2013).
  2. 2.
    Walker, I.D., : Continuous backbone continuum robot manipulators. ISRN. Rob. 726506 (2013).
  3. 3.
    Burgner-Kahrs, J., Rucker, D.C. and Choset, H. : Continuum robots for medical applications: A survey. IEEE. TRO. 31(6), 1261-1280 (2015).
  4. 4.
    Gravagne, I.A., Walker, I.D. : On the kinematics of remotely-actuated continuum robots. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 2544-2550. IEEE, (2000).
  5. 5.
    Cao, K., Kang, R., Wang, J., Song, Z., Dai, J. : Kinematic model and workspace analysis of tendon-driven continuum robots. In: Proceedings of the 14th IFToMM World Congress, pp. 640-644. Taipei, Taiwan (2015).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Starke, J., Amanov, E., Chikhaoui, M.T., Burgner-Kahrs, J.,: On the merits of helical tendon routing in continuum robots. In: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems(IROS), pp. 6470-6476. IEEE, (2017).
  7. 7.
    Ashwin, K. P., Ghosal, A.: Forward kinematics of cable-driven continuum robot using optimization method. In: Proceedings of 5th Asian Conference on Mechanisms and Machine Science, December 17-20, 2018.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rucker, D.C., Webster III, R.J. : Statics and dynamics of continuum robots with general tendon routing and external loading. IEEE. TRO. 27(6), 1033-1044 (2011).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations