Stiffness Control for Soft Surgical Manipulators

Mustaza, S.M., Saaj, C, Comin, F.J. , Albukhanajer, W.A., Mahdi, D. and Lekakou, C. (2018) Stiffness Control for Soft Surgical Manipulators. International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, 15 (5). ISSN 0219-8436

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Tunable stiffness control is critical for undertaking surgical procedures using soft manipulators. However, active stiffness control in soft continuum manipulators is very challenging and has been rarely realized for real-time surgical applications. Low stiffness at the tip is much preferred for safe navigation of the robot in restricted spaces inside the human body. On the other hand, high stiffness at the tip is demanded for efficiently operating surgical instruments. In this paper, the manipulability and characteristics of a class of soft hyper-redundant manipulator, fabricated using Ecoflex-0050TM silicone, is discussed and a new methodology is introduced to actively tune the stiffness matrix, in real-time, for disturbance rejection and stiffness control. Experimental results are used to derive a more accurate description of the characteristics of the soft manipulator, capture the varying stiffness effects of the actuated arm and consequently offer a more accurate response using closed loop feedback control in real-time. The novel results presented in this paper advances the state-of-the-art of tunable stiffness control in soft continuum manipulators for real-time applications.

Additional Information:cited By 1
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
ID Code:37443
Deposited On:07 Oct 2019 13:15

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