Research Papers

Design and Implementation of a Binary Redundant Manipulator With Cascaded Modules1

[+] Author and Article Information
Emmanouil Tzorakoleftherakis

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208-3111
e-mail: man7therakis@gmail.com

Anastasia Mavrommati

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208-3111

Anthony Tzes

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
University of Patras,
Rio 26500, Greece

2Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 5, 2014; final manuscript received April 7, 2015; published online August 18, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Satyandra K. Gupta.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(1), 011002 (Aug 18, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-14-1157; doi: 10.1115/1.4030372 History: Received July 05, 2014

The subject of this paper is the design and implementation of a prototype snakelike redundant manipulator. The manipulator consists of cascaded modules eventually forming a macroscopically serial robot and is powered by shape memory alloy (SMA) wires. The SMAs (NiTi) act as binary actuators with two stable states and as a result, the repeatability of the manipulator's movement is ensured, alleviating the need for complex feedback sensing. Each module is composed of a customized spring and three SMA wires which form a tripod with three degrees of freedom (DOFs). Embedded microcontrollers networked with the I2C protocol activate the actuators of each module individually. In addition, we discuss certain design aspects and propose a solution that deals with the limited absolute stroke achieved by SMA wires. The forward and inverse kinematics of the binary manipulator are also presented and the tradeoff between maneuverability and computational complexity is specifically addressed. Finally, the functionality and maneuverability of this design are verified in simulation and experimentally.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Takayama, T. , and Hirose, S. , 2002, “Amphibious 3D Active Cord Mechanism “HELIX” With Helical Swimming Motion,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Lausanne, Switzerland, Sept. 30–Oct. 4, pp. 775–780.
Degani, A. , Choset, H. , Zubiate, B. , Ota, T. , and Zenati, M. A. , 2008, “Highly Articulated Robotic Probe for Minimally Invasive Surgery,” 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS 2008), Vancouver, BC, Canada, Aug. 20–25, pp. 3273–3276.
DeSars, V. , Haliyo, S. , and Szewczyk, J. , 2010, “A Practical Approach to the Design and Control of Active Endoscopes,” Mechatronics, 20(2), pp. 251–264. [CrossRef]
Kim, K. , Song, H. , Suh, J. , and Lee, J. , 2013, “A Novel Surgical Manipulator With Workspace-Conversion Ability for Telesurgery,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics, 18(1), pp. 200–211. [CrossRef]
Mukherji, R. , Ray, D. A. , Stieber, M. , and Lymer, J. , 2001, “Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Advanced Control Features and Development Test Results,” 6th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS 2001), Montreal, QC, Canada, June 18–22.
Brown, H. B. , Schwerin, M. , Shammas, E. , and Choset, H. , 2007, “Design and Control of a Second-Generation Hyper-Redundant Mechanism,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2007), San Diego, CA, Oct. 29–Nov. 2, pp. 2603–2608.
Hirose, S. , and Mori, M. , 2004, “Biologically Inspired Snake-Like Robots,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO 2004), Shenyang, China, Aug. 22–26.
Andruska, A. M. , and Peterson, K. S. , 2008, “Control of a Snake-Like Robot in an Elastically Deformable Channel,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics, 13(2), pp. 219–227. [CrossRef]
Walker, I. D. , and Hannan, M. W. , 1999, “A Novel ‘Elephant's Trunk’ Robot,” IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM), Atlanta, GA, Sept. 19–23, pp. 410–415.
Chirikjian, G. , 1994, “A Binary Paradigm for Robotic Manipulators,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), San Diego, CA, May 8–13, pp. 3063–3069.
Ebert-Uphoff, I. , 1997, “On the Development of Discretely-Actuated Hybrid-Serial-Parallel Manipulators,” Ph.D. thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
Chirikjian, J. , and Suthakorn, G. S. , 2001, “Design and Implementation of a New Discretely-Actuated Manipulator,” 7th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), Honolulu, HI, Dec. 10–13, 2000, pp. 151–157.
Wingert, A. , Lichter, M. D. , and Dubowsky, S. , 2006, “On the Design of Large Degree-of-Freedom Digital Mechatronic Devices Based on Bistable Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics, 11(4), pp. 448–456. [CrossRef]
Lanteigne, E. , and Jnifene, A. , 2006, “Design of a Link-Less Hyper-Redundant Manipulator and Composite Shape Memory Alloy Actuator,” IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE '06), Ottawa, ON, Canada, May 7–10, pp. 1180–1183.
Yuk, H. , Kim, D. , Lee, H. , Jo, S. , and Shin, J. H. , 2011, “Shape Memory Alloy-Based Small Crawling Robots Inspired by C. Elegans,” Bioinspiration Biomimetics, 6(4), p. 046002. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Suthakorn, J. , and Chirikjian, G. S. , 2001, “A New Inverse Kinematics Algorithm for Binary Manipulators With Many Actuators,” Adv. Rob., 15(2), pp. 225–244. [CrossRef]
Ebert-Uphoff, I. , and Chirikjian, G. S. , 1996, “Inverse Kinematics of Discretely Actuated Hyper-Redundant Manipulators Using Workspace Densities,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Minneapolis, MN, Apr. 22–28, pp. 139–145.
Ebert-Uphoff, I. , and Chirikjian, G. S. , 1995, “Efficient Workspace Generation for Binary Manipulators With Many Actuators,” J. Rob. Syst., 12(6), pp. 383–400. [CrossRef]
Mavrommati, A. , Tzorakoleftherakis, E. , and Tzes, A. , 2012, “Design and Development of a Hyper-Redundant Binary Active Laparoscopic Manipulator,” 20th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED), Barcelona, Spain, July 3–6, pp. 327–332.
Sokolov, A. , and Xirouchakis, P. , 2005, “Kinematics of a 3-DOF Parallel Manipulator With an R–P–S Joint Structure,” Robotica, 23(2), pp. 207–217. [CrossRef]
Lee, K. M. , and Arjunan, S. , 1989, “A Three Degree of Freedom Micro-Motion In-Parallel Actuated-Manipulator,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Scottsdale, AZ, May 14–19, pp. 1698–1703.
Andrianesis, K. , and Tzes, A. , 2008, “Design of an Anthropomorphic Prosthetic Hand Driven by Shape Memory Alloy Actuators,” 2nd IEEE RAS and EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob 2008), Scottsdale, AZ, Oct. 19–22, pp. 517–522.
Giataganas, P. , Evangeliou, N. , Koveos, Y. , Kelasidi, E. , and Tzes, A. , 2011, “Design and Experimental Evaluation of an Innovative SMA-Based Tendon-Driven Redundant Endoscopic Robotic Surgical Tool,” 19th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (MED), Corfu, Greece, June 20–23, pp. 1071–1075.
Ho, M. , Koltz, M. , Simard, J. M. , Gullapalli, R. , and Desai, J. P. , 2011, “Towards a MR Image-Guided SMA-Actuated Neurosurgical Robot,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Shanghai, May 9–13, pp. 1153–1158.
Reynaerts, D. , and Brussel, H. V. , 1998, “Design Aspects of Shape Memory Actuators,” Mechatronics, 8(6), pp. 635–656. [CrossRef]
Wood, J. , Sullivan, C. , and Lassig, A. , 2005, “Robotic Hand,” Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Report No. ME 4000 2005.
Mavroidis, C. , Pfeiffer, C. , and Mosley, M. J. , 1999, “Conventional Actuators, Shape Memory Alloys, and Electrorheological Fluids,” Automation, Miniature Robotics and Sensors for Non-Destructive Testing & Evaluation, Y. Bar-Cohen , ed., The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Columbus, OH, Chap. IV.
Gosselin, C. , 1988, “A Kinematic Analysis, Optimization and Programming of Parallel Robotic Manipulators,” Ph.D. thesis, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Simplified model of a bending module, (b) SMA arrangement, and (c) worst case configuration

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) The 3DOF spatial tripod, (b) the implemented SMA-based tripod, (c) link design, and (d) IC slot

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) Electronics architecture ((b) and (c)) forward kinematics parameters

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Tripod discrete states, with the activated SMAs drawn with dashes and (b) macroscopically serial robot

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

(a) Snapshots of the robot movement, (b) state variations, (c) actual robot path, and (d) position error

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Parametric evaluation of angle θ

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

(a) Manufactured link, (b) slave IC, and (c) assembly details

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Workspace of the manipulator for all 88 possible configurations. One can see that despite the binary nature of actuation, the discrete positions of the end-effector essentially form a continuous workspace due to the large number of discrete states. Different levels indicate the vertical distance from the robot base.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Experimental results

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Demonstration of repeatability

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Additional configurations



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In