Design of an environmentally interactive continuum manipulator

D.L. Bakker, D. Matsuura, Y Takeda, Just Herder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Continuum manipulators are high degree of freedom structures that can use their increased degrees of freedom to navigate through an environment with obstacles. This type of manipulator is underactuated, which make them promising for adapting to their environments. However, current research is mainly focused on accurate positioning and obstacle avoidance, while the advantages of underactuated systems remain unused. Therefore this paper proposes a new design and approach of a continuum manipulator, which can navigate through an environment with obstacles by passively shaping the manipulator along the obstacles. The proposed design consists of a sequence of crosslink segments, where steering is done by an antagonistic pair of tendons and forward movement is done by a single pushing force at the base of the manipulator. Analytical models and a prototype show that this manipulator has a highly increased range of motion per segment compared with similar systems. The results also show that the manipulator is able to reach a target in a multi-obstacle environment using a simple binary control system with low input forces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th IFToMM World Congress
EditorsS.H. Chang
ISBN (Electronic)978-986-04-6098-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event14th IFToMM World Congress - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 25 Oct 201530 Oct 2015


Conference14th IFToMM World Congress


  • Continuum manipulators
  • Environmental interaction
  • Underactuated mechanisms

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