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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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
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