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Follow-the-leader motion strategy for multi-section continuum robots based on differential evolution algorithm

GuoHua Gao (College of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Electronics Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China)
Pengyu Wang (College of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Electronics Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China)
Hao Wang (Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Aarhus Universitet, Aarhus, Denmark)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 7 June 2021

Issue publication date: 19 August 2021

303

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a follow-the-leader motion strategy for multi-section continuum robots, which aims to make the robot have the motion ability in a confined environment and avoid a collision.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the mechanical design of a multi-section continuum robot is introduced and the forward kinematic model is built. After that, the follow-the-leader motion strategy is proposed and the differential evolution (DE) algorithm for calculating optimal posture parameters is presented. Then simulations and experiments are carried out on a series of predefined paths to analyze the performance of the follow-the-leader motion.

Findings

The follow-the-leader motion can be well performed on the continuum robots this study proposes in this research. The experimental results show that the deviation from the path is less than 9.7% and the tip error is no more than 15.6%.

Research limitations/implications

Currently, the follow-the-leader motion is affected by the following factors such as gravity and continuum robot design. Furthermore, the position error is not compensated under open-loop control. In future work, this paper will improve the accuracy of the robot and introduce a closed-loop control strategy to improve the motion accuracy.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is to present an algorithm to generate follow-the-leader motion of the continuum robot based on DE. This method is suitable for solving new arrangements in the process of following a nonlinear path. Then, it is expected to promote the engineering application of the continuum robot.

Keywords

Citation

Gao, G., Wang, P. and Wang, H. (2021), "Follow-the-leader motion strategy for multi-section continuum robots based on differential evolution algorithm", Industrial Robot, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 589-601. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-01-2021-0001

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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