Abstract

Flexibility and compliance are intrinsic qualities of continuum (soft) robots which make them desirable and extend their applicability beyond the level readily obtainable in the traditional rigid link robots. Thus, continuum robots can be used in manipulation, exploration, inspection, and surveillance tasks, in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) applications, and robotic rehabilitation devices. Unfortunately, the desirable qualities of these robotic systems lead to nonlinearities and complex deformations which must be clearly understood to develop a good model. At present, various modeling methods exist. However, this research employs a uniquely different approach based on the Hybrid Parameter Multiple Body Systems (HPMBS) methodology for the dynamic modeling and control of a two-link tendon-driven flexible manipulator. Owing to the benefits offered by this modeling approach, a high accurate, low order model for the complex deformations of the flexible manipulator system will be developed. Model simulations demonstrating joint position control with passive damping will be presented, whereby the manipulator can be accurately moved to various joint positions, with vibrations completely suppressed. As a result, the accurate, low order model could facilitate real time dynamic simulations and controls as may be required for various soft robotic applications.

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