Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering (Holcomb Dept. of)

Committee Member

Ian D Walker, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Apoorva Kapadia

Committee Member

Richard Groff

Abstract

This thesis describes the design and physical realization of a novel branching continuum robot, aimed at inspection and cleaning operations in hard-to-reach environments at depths greater than human arm lengths. The design, based on a hybrid concentric-tube/tendon actuated continuum trunk core, features two pairs of fully retractable continuum branches. The retractable nature of the branches allows the robot to actively change its topology, allowing it to penetrate narrow openings and expand to adaptively engage complex environmental geometries. We detail and discuss the realization of a physical prototype of the design, and its testing in several simulated application environments.

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