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Extension versus Bending for Continuum Robots

Author(s): Ian D. Walker | Carlos Carreras | Robin McDonnell | George Grimes

Journal: International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
ISSN 1729-8806

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: robotics | continuum | manipulators | intervals

In this paper, we analyze the capabilities of a novel class of continuous-backbone ("continuum") robots. These robots are inspired by biological "trunks, and tentacles". However, the capabilities of established continuum robot designs, which feature controlled bending but not extension, fall short of those of their biological counterparts. In this paper, we argue that the addition of controlled extension provides dual and complementary functionality, and correspondingly enhanced performance, in continuum robots. We present an interval-based analysis to show how the inclusion of controllable extension significantly enhances the workspace and capabilities of continuum robots.
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