This paper will introduce a new type of modular manipulator system that is particularly well suited for performing long-reach, high-payload operations such as waste storage tank remediation. These new capabilities are achieved by employing an “all-truss” design in which discrete truss modules are used to construct a reconfigurable manipulator system. Each module of the manipulator is either a static truss “link” or one of several possible Variable Geometry Truss “joints.” This paper presents background information, system requirements, a description of the individual components used to construct the manipulator, and an overview of the kinematic analysis algorithms developed to address the redundant nature of the manipulator.

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