Much advancement has been made in traditional rigid link robotic systems and recently in another area of robotics known as continuum robotics. Continuum robots are based on biological structures such as tongues, trunks, and tentacles. They are designed to capture the amazing characteristics of these remarkable structures. For example, continuum robot applications in the areas of nuclear, medical, and search and rescue has become increasingly popular because robots with these capabilities can search inside confined spaces much easier than traditional rigid link robots, explore underneath and inside holes, and contort around an object without the shape or size being an obstacle. Just like an elephant can pick up a log with its trunk, a continuum robot can pick up an object by wrapping itself around it.
Unlike traditional rigid link robots, continuum robots are more difficult to model, design, and construct due to their lack of rigidity. Unlike rigid-link robots, their bodies can extend, bend continuously, and in some instances expand. This project presents achievements in the field of continuum robotics in areas of modeling, verification, building and control. According to inherent flexibility of continuum robots and their safe and soft interaction with human anatomy, this type of robots can be useful for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS).
A new type of continuum robots introduced by (Nabil Simaan, Russell Taylor et al. 2004) stays at the focus of this study. These new continuum robots have enough dexterity for complex surgical tasks in confined spaces and tracking trajectories.
• Two section continuum robot
• Spatial four degree-of-freedom
• Super elastic NiTi backbones
• Two actuation redundancy
• 9 mm pitch circle with 160 mm length
• High accuracy linear motion (0.0005 mm resolution)