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Multi-continuum manipulators shape reconstruction using inertial navigation sensors and cameras

Hao Guo (School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China)
Feng Ju (School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China)
Ning Wang (School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China)
Bai Chen (School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China)
Xiaoyong Wei (School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China)
Yaoyao Wang (School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China)
Dan Wang (School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 9 February 2021

Issue publication date: 3 August 2021

154

Abstract

Purpose

Continuum manipulators are often used in complex and narrow space in recent years because of their flexibility and safety. Vision is considered to be one of the most direct methods to obtain its spatial shape. However, with the improvement of the cooperation requirements of multiple continuum manipulators and the increase of space limitation, it is impossible to obtain the complete spatial shape information of multiple continuum manipulators only by several cameras.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes a fusion method using inertial navigation sensors and cameras to reconstruct the shape of continuum manipulators in the whole workspace. The camera is used to obtain the position information, and the inertial navigation sensor is used to obtain the attitude information. Based on the above two information, the shape of the continuum manipulator is reconstructed by fitting Bézier curve.

Findings

The experiment result of single continuum manipulator shows that the cubic Bézier curves is applicable to curve fitting of variable curvature, the maximum fitting error is about 2 mm. Meanwhile, the experiment result shows that this method is not affected by obstacles and can still reconstruct the shape of the continuum manipulators in 3-D space by detecting the position and attitude information of the end.

Originality/value

According to the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study on spatial shape reconstruction of multiple continuum manipulators and the first study to introduce inertial navigation sensors and cameras into the field of shape reconstruction of multiple continuum manipulators in narrow space. This method is suitable for shape reconstruction of manipulator with variable curvature continuum manipulator. When the vision of multiple continuum manipulators is blocked by obstacles, the spatial shape can still be reconstructed only by exposing the end point. The structure is simple, but it has certain accuracy within a certain range.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, NO. NS2020036,” National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61973335) and Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province under Grant BK20191272.

Citation

Guo, H., Ju, F., Wang, N., Chen, B., Wei, X., Wang, Y. and Wang, D. (2021), "Multi-continuum manipulators shape reconstruction using inertial navigation sensors and cameras", Industrial Robot, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 401-412. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-09-2020-0205

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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