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Snake-Like Units Using Flexible Backbones and Actuation Redundancy for Enhanced Miniaturization

Research Area: Continuum Robots Year: 2005
Type of Publication: In Proceedings Keywords: snake robots; continuum robots; parallel robots; actuation redundancy
  • Nabil Simaan
Book title: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA’2005)
Pages: 3012 - 3017
ISBN: 0-7803-8914-X
This paper reports some recent analysis and modeling results obtained while developing a tele-robotic system for minimally invasive surgery of the throat. One of the main enabling components of this system is a Distal Dexterity Unit that implements a novel design using a flexible multi-backbone snake-like unit with actuation redundancy and push-pull actuation. The design of this snake-like unit is compared to other alternative designs that use a single flexible-backbone and wire-actuation. A unified kinematic and virtual work model is used to perform this comparison between a multi-backbone snake like unit with an equal-diameter snake-like unit using a single flexible backbone and wire actuation. The comparison is presented for several actuation redundancy resolutions that minimize the load on the flexible backbones. The results show that the multi-backbone design is superior to the alternative wire-actuated designs using a single flexible backbone. The advantages manifest in smaller required actuation forces on the backbones and, as a result, a reduced risk of buckling of the backbones and enhanced potential downsize scalability.
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