HyDRAS (Hyper-redundant Discrete Robotic Articulated Serpentine) is a novel serpentine robot comprising a serial chain of actuated universal joints for climbing structures such as poles or scaffoldings. To do so, it wraps its body around the structure in a helical shape, and rotates its body along its own central body axis to roll up the structure. This paper presents a method and considerations for selecting the optimal design parameters for the development of HyDRAS. The geometry equations derived in this paper will allow for a parametric approach that will aid in the selection of the appropriate design parameters such as module length, module diameter, helical pitch, and allowable range of motion for the given task of climbing pole like structures. Several examples are used to illustrate the method. The results obtained will be used in the analysis of the mechanical advantage of the mechanism and future research on the motion planning of HyDRAS.

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