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01.12.2020 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2020 Open Access

Chinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering 1/2020

A Hyper-redundant Elephant’s Trunk Robot with an Open Structure: Design, Kinematics, Control and Prototype

Zeitschrift:
Chinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering > Ausgabe 1/2020
Autoren:
Yongjie Zhao, Xiaogang Song, Xingwei Zhang, Xinjian Lu

Abstract

As for the complex operational tasks in the unstructured environment with narrow workspace and numerous obstacles, the traditional robots cannot accomplish these mentioned complex operational tasks and meet the dexterity demands. The hyper-redundant bionic robots can complete complex tasks in the unstructured environments by simulating the motion characteristics of the elephant’s trunk and octopus tentacles. Compared with traditional robots, the hyper-redundant bionic robots can accomplish complex tasks because of their flexible structure. A hyper-redundant elephant’s trunk robot (HRETR) with an open structure is developed in this paper. The content includes mechanical structure design, kinematic analysis, virtual prototype simulation, control system design, and prototype building. This design is inspired by the flexible motion of an elephant’s trunk, which is expansible and is composed of six unit modules, namely, 3UPS-PS parallel in series. First, the mechanical design of the HRETR is completed according to the motion characteristics of an elephant’s trunk and based on the principle of mechanical bionic design. After that, the backbone mode method is used to establish the kinematic model of the robot. The simulation software SolidWorks and ADAMS are combined to analyze the kinematic characteristics when the trajectory of the end moving platform of the robot is assigned. With the help of ANSYS, the static stiffness of each component and the whole robot is analyzed. On this basis, the materials of the weak parts of the mechanical structure and the hardware are selected reasonably. Next, the extensible structures of software and hardware control system are constructed according to the modular and hierarchical design criteria. Finally, the prototype is built and its performance is tested. The proposed research provides a method for the design and development for the hyper-redundant bionic robot.
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