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The conceptual design of a spatial binary hyper redundant manipulator and its forward kinematics

The hyper redundant manipulators (HRMs) have excessively many degrees of freedom. As a special but practicable subset of them, the binary hyper-redundant manipulators (BHRMs) use binary (on-off) actuators with only two stable states such as pneumatic cylinders and/or solenoids. This article describes the conceptual design of a spatial BHRM together with its forward kinematics. This BHRM consists of many modules with the same constructive characteristics. The modules increase in size from the tip to the base so that the actuator powers also increase in the same order. Each module consists of three submodules. The first and second submodules have the shapes of variable geometry trusses and they work in mutually orthogonal planes. The third submodule is a discrete twister. The manipulator is assumed to be driven by pneumatic on-off actuators. Because of the discrete nature of the on-off actuators, a small but continuously actuated six-joint manipulator is installed as the last module of the BHRM in order to compensate the discretization errors.