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New flexible actuator

Oded Salomon, Alon Wolf

Hyper-redundant robots (HRR) have many more degrees of freedom (DOF) than required, which enable them to handle more constraints, such as those present in highly convoluted volumes. Consequently, they can serve in many robotic applications, while extending the reachability and manoeuvrability of the operator. The many degrees of freedom that furnish the HRR with its wide range of capabilities also provide its major challenges: mechanism design, control, and path planning. In this paper, we present a novel design of a HRR composed of sixteen DOF. The HRR is composed of two concentric structures: a passive backbone and an exoskeleton which carries self-weight as well as external loads. The HRR is 80 cm long, 7.7 cm in diameter, achieves high rigidity and accuracy and is capable of 180° bending. The forward kinematics of the HRR is presented along with the inverse kinematics of a link.

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