In this paper, the kinematics modeling of a notched continuum manipulator is presented, which includes the mechanics-based forward kinematics and the curve-fitting-based inverse kinematics. In order to establish the forward kinematics model by using Denavit–Hartenberg (D–H) procedure, the compliant continuum manipulator featuring the hyper-redundant degrees of freedom (DOF) is simplified into finite discrete joints. Based on that hypothesis, the mapping from the discrete joints to the distal position of the continuum manipulator is built up via the mechanics model. On the other hand, to reduce the effect of the hyper-redundancy for the continuum manipulator's inverse kinematic model, the “curve-fitting” approach is utilized to map the end position to the deformation angle of the continuum manipulator. By the proposed strategy, the inverse kinematics of the hyper-redundant continuum manipulator can be solved by using the traditional geometric method. Finally, the proposed methodologies are validated experimentally on a triangular notched continuum manipulator which illustrates the capability and the effectiveness of our proposed kinematics for continuum manipulators and also can be used as a generic method for such notched continuum manipulators.

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