EXPERIMENTAL KINEMATIC ANALYSIS OF SOFT ROBOTIC MANIPULATORS

Open Access
Author:
Lesutis, Daniel
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christopher Rahn, Thesis Supervisor
  • Matthew M Mench, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Kinematics
  • Soft Robotic
  • Manipulators
Abstract:
Soft robotic manipulators are currently being researched for use in unstructured environments such as search and research operations and explosives disposal. This paper details the development of an experimental setup used to validate a trajectory planning approach that uses simplified Cosserat Rod models. Two designs of soft robotic manipulators, which mimic the motion profiles of tentacles, are introduced in this paper. One is a three section manipulator known as Octarm VI and the other is a two section manipulator with only the proximal section under independent control. To validate the trajectory planning algorithm for the Octarm VI, planned trajectories were input to the trajectory planning algorithm, which generated the pressure sequence that achieves the desired trajectory. The workspaces of each arm design were also experimentally mapped out and compared based on workspace range and dexterity. Experimental data was captured through the use of custom machine vision system based on a Canon SLR camera.