This paper presents the analysis of a continuum robot for use as a robotic tail. The tail is envisioned for use on-board a mobile robot to provide a means separate from the locomotion mechanism (e.g., legs or wheels) to generate external forces and moments to stabilize and/or maneuver the robot. A Cosserat rod model is used to simulate the mechanics of the tail. In these analyses, a prescribed tail configuration (for static analysis) or trajectory (for dynamic analysis) is applied, and the governing equations are used to calculate the loading at the base of the tail, which will be transmitted to the mobile robot. This analysis studies the impact of both trajectory and design factors on the resulting loading profiles. Trajectory factors considered include the mode shape, speed, bending magnitude and bending plane angle. Design factors considered for a fixed mass tail include segment length(s) and mass distribution. This research will ultimately assist future continuum robotic tail designs.

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