Design, Modelling and Integration of a Flexible Universal Spatial Robotic Tail

[+] Author and Article Information
William Rone

Student Member, Virginia Tech, Randolph Hall, Room 8, 460 Old Turner St (0710), Blacksburg, VA 24061

Wael Saab

Student Member, Virginia Tech, Randolph Hall, Room 8, 460 Old Turner St (0710), Blacksburg, VA 24061

Pinhas Ben-Tzvi

Member, Virginia Tech, Goodwin Hall, Room 465, 635 Prices Fork Road (0238), Blacksburg, VA 24061

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039500 History: Received October 24, 2017; Revised February 21, 2018


This paper presents the novel design of a bioinspired robot capable of generating spatial loading relative to its base. By looking to nature at how animals utilize their tails, a bioinspired structure is developed that utilizes a redundant serial chain of rigid links to mimic the continuous deformation of a biological tail. Individual links are connected by universal joints to enable a spatial robot workspace capable of generating spatial loading comprised of pitch, yaw and roll direction contributions. Two sets of three cables are used to create two actuated segments along the robot. A dynamic model of the robot is derived using prescribed cable displacement trajectories as inputs to determine the resulting joint angle trajectories and cable tensions. Sensors are integrated on-board the robot to calculate joint angles and joint velocities in real-time for use in feedback control. The loading capabilities of the robot are analyzed, and an experimental prototype is integrated and demonstrated.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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