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Robotics 2018, 7(3), 58;

Vine-Inspired Continuum Tendril Robots and Circumnutations

*,†,‡ and
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: 446 Pin Du Lac Drive, Central, SC 29630, USA.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
PDF [11480 KB, uploaded 18 September 2018]


Smooth-backboned “continuum” robot structures offer novel ways to create robot shapes and movements. In this paper, we show how circumnutation, a motion strategy commonly employed by plants, can be implemented and usefully exploited with continuum robots. We discuss how the kinematics of circumnutation, which combines local backbone growth with periodic backbone bending, can be created using extensible continuum robot hardware. The underlying kinematics are generated by adapting kinematic models of plant growth. We illustrate the effectiveness of that approach with experimental results with a tendril-like robot exploring a congested environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: continuum; biological inspiration; kinematics continuum; biological inspiration; kinematics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Wooten, M.B.; Walker, I.D. Vine-Inspired Continuum Tendril Robots and Circumnutations. Robotics 2018, 7, 58.

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