Interleaved Continuum-Rigid Manipulation

  • The interleaved continuum-rigid manipulation approach advocates the combination of flexible, actively actuated continuum segments with small, rigid-link actuators .  The small rigid-link joints are interleaved between successive continuum segments and provide a redundant motion capability.  The active continuum segments provide large motion capability through, for example, a combination of tendon-driven articulation and telescoping motions.  The compliant atraumatic construction of the continuum segments enhances safety while the small size of the rigid-link joints allows them to be embedded inside the compliant segments.  The repeatable, predictable motion of the small rigid-link joint actuators allow for active correction of motion errors and increased dexterity.  The higher levels of performance that the approach conveys to flexible manipulators can enable a level of cooperative manipulation required for emerging co-robotic techniques, including safety critical applications such as interventional cardiac procedures, while maintaining safety.
  • Faculty:
  • Michael Zinn – Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Students:   
  • Benjamin Conrad  – Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Bolun Zhang  – Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Funding:
  • NSF NRI

Interleaved Continuum-Rigid Manipulation uses discrete rigid joints to compensate nonlinear behaviors in continuum segments.