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Research Papers

Model Validation of an Octopus Inspired Continuum Robotic Arm for Use in Underwater Environments

[+] Author and Article Information
Tianjiang Zheng

e-mail: Tianjiang.zheng@iit.it

David T. Branson

e-mail: David.Branson@nottingham.ac.uk

Emanuele Guglielmino

e-mail: Emanuele.Guglielmino@iit.it

Rongjie Kang

e-mail: Rongjie.Kang@iit.it

Gustavo A. Medrano Cerda

e-mail: gmedranocerda@googlemail.com
Italy Institute of Technology (IIT),
Via Morego,
Genova 30 16163, Italy

Matteo Cianchetti

e-mail: m.cianchetti@sssup.it

Maurizio Follador

e-mail: m.follador@sssup.it
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA),
Piazza Martiri della Libertà,
33 Pisa,
Province of Pisa, Italy

Isuru S. Godage

e-mail: Isuru.Godage@iit.it

Darwin G. Caldwell

e-mail: Darwin.Caldwell@iit.it
Italy Institute of Technology (IIT),
Via Morego,
Genova 30 16163, Italy

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received April 13, 2012; final manuscript received November 23, 2012; published online March 26, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Yuefa Fang.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 5(2), 021004 (Mar 26, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: JMR-12-1047; doi: 10.1115/1.4023636 History: Received April 13, 2012; Revised November 23, 2012

Octopuses are an example of dexterous animals found in nature. Their arms are flexible, can vary in stiffness, grasp objects, apply high forces with respect to their relatively light weight, and bend in all directions. Robotic structures inspired by octopus arms have to undertake the challenges of a high number of degrees of freedom (DOF), coupled with highly flexible continuum structure. This paper presents a kinematic and dynamic model for underwater continuum robots inspired by Octopus vulgaris. Mass, damping, stiffness, and external forces such as gravity, buoyancy, and hydrodynamic forces are considered in the dynamic model. A continuum arm prototype was built utilizing longitudinal and radial actuators, and comparisons between the simulated and experimental results show good agreement.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Figures

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Fig. 2

General structure of the kinematic model

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Fig. 6

Isovolumetric property in the simulated model

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Fig. 4

Single segment dynamic model of the octopus arm

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Fig. 3

Coordinate system arrangement for one segment

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Fig. 1

Octopus arm anatomy

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Fig. 5

Representation of isovolumetric property in a segment

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Fig. 11

Octopus arm prototype (a), and diagram of the internal structure (b)

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Fig. 7

Two segments dynamic model of octopus arm

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Fig. 10

(a) Simplified biological motor control architecture for octopus, and (b) resulting prototype CNS/PNS control hardware block diagram

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Fig. 15

Comparison of simulated and experimental results for contraction of arm

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Fig. 16

Contraction motion when a 1 N force is applied to (a) no points, (b) point 1, and (c) point 3

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Fig. 17

Bend motion and position comparison with force applied to the cables at point 3 neglecting gravity and buoyancy

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Fig. 12

Example of camera data processing

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Fig. 8

Octopus-inspired robotic arm in the water tank

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Fig. 9

Prototype of the octopus-inspired robotic arm

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Fig. 13

Longitudinal stiffness value for each segment

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Fig. 14

Radial stiffness value for each segment

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Fig. 18

Bend motion and position comparison with force applied to the cables at point 3 including gravity and buoyancy

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Fig. 19

Bend with hydrodynamic force

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