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4 years ago

Experiments with Tentacle Robots

Experiments with Tentacle Robots

Experiments with Tentacle

Experiments with Tentacle Robots Prof. Dr. Eng. Dorian Cojocaru, Prof. Dr. Eng. Mircea Ivanescu, Assist. Prof. Dr. Eng. Razvan Tudor Tanasie, Eng. Sorin Dumitru, Eng. Florin Manta Faculty of Automation, Computers and Electronics, University of Craiova, Romania Abstract An ideal tentacle manipulator is a non-conventional robotic arm with an infinite mobility. It has the capability of taking sophisticated shapes and of achieving any position and orientation in a 3D space. A tentacle manipulator is a hyper redundant or hyper degree of freedom manipulator. Hyper redundant robots produce changes of configuration using a continuous backbone made of sections which bend. The lack of no discrete joints is a serious and difficult issue in the determination of the robot's shape. A solution for this problem is the vision based control of the robot, kinematics and dynamics. A tentacle arm prototype was designed and the practical realization is now running. The control system is an image based visual servo control where the error control signal is defined directly in terms of image feature parameters. 1 Introduction An ideal tentacle manipulator is a non-conventional robotic arm with an infinite mobility. It has the capability of takeing sophisticated shapes and of achieving any position and orientation in a 3D space. The research group from the Faculty of Automation, Computers and Electronics, University of Craiova, Romania, started working in research field of hyperredundant robots over 20 years ago. The experiments started on a family of TEROB robots which used cables and DC motors. The kinematics and dynamics models, as well as the different control methods developed by the research group were tested on these robots. Figure 2 The new model implementation Figure 1 CAD images of the tentacle design Starting with 2008, the research group designed a new experimental platform for hyperredundant robots. This new robot is actuated by stepper motors. The rotation of these motors rotates the cables which by correlated screwing and unscrewing of their ends determine their shortening or prolonging, and by consequence, the tentacle curvature. In the actual stage the manipulator is formed of three segments. The backbone of the tentacle is an elastic cable made out of steel, which sustains the entire structure and allows the bending. Depending on which cable shortens or prolongs, the tentacle bends in different planes, each one making dif-

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