Verification of a Three-Dimensional Statics Model for Continuum Robotics and the Design and Construction of a Small Continuum Robot (SCR)
Gray, Ricky (Ricky Lee), Jr.
AdvisorJones, Bryan A.
CommitteeReese, Robert B.
Morris, Thomas H.
Continuum robots are biologically inspired robots that capture the extraordinary abilities of biological structures such as elephant trunks, octopus tentacles, and mamma-lian tongues. They are given the term continuum robots due to their ability to bend conti-nuously rather than at specific joints such as with traditional rigid link robots. They are used in applications such as search and rescue operations, nuclear reactor repairs, colo-noscopies, minimal invasive surgeries, and steerable needles. In this thesis, a model that predicts the shape of a continuum robot is presented and verified. A verification system to verify the validity and accuracy of the model is presented which allows easy and accu-rate measurement of a continuum robot tip position. The model was verified against a flexible rod, the core component of a continuum robot, resulting in an accuracy of 0.61%. Finally, this thesis introduces a novel robot design, consisting of a single rod for the backbone which can be manipulated by applying external forces and torques.