Design and Analysis of an Origami Continuum Manipulation Module with Torsional Strength


This paper presents an origami-inspired cable-driven continuum manipulator module that offers low-cost, low-volume deployment, light weight, and inherently safe human interaction and collaboration. Each module has a mass of around 110 g and integrates the actuation, sensing, and control sub-systems necessary for operation. The origami structure has 7.311 Nm/rad (0.128 Nm/degree) torsional stiffness while being capable of bending in two directions and changing arclength down to a fully collapsed state. A maximum contraction of 35 mm and bending angle of 35.5 degrees were achieved with 45 mm arc length. The module is capable of passively supporting a 1-kg mass at its tip, or 4 additional serially connected modules, bending approximately 6 degrees in the worst case. We also show that we can actively compensate for external moments by pre-compressing or pre-bending the module. We utilize an inverse kinematic control scheme and use it for both open and closed loop control following a circular trajectory. Our results indicate that the module motion follows the desired trajectory with an RMS error of 0.681 mm in the horizontal (x-y) plane and 0.373 mm in the z-axis with closed-loop control. We also assembled two origami modules in series and drove them independently, demonstrating the proof-of-concept of a modular origami continuum manipulator.

In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems