History of Robotics Research and Development of Japan2012ManipulationDevelopment of an Outer Shell Type 2 DOF Bending Manipulator using a Spring-link Mechanism

Jumpei ArataNagoya Institute of Technology (currently Kyushu University)
Yoshitaka SaitoNagoya Institute of Technology
Hideo FujimotoNagoya Institute of Technology
 In recent years, robotic technology has been introduced to medical fields and many surgical robots have been presented. One of the most advantageous features of these surgical robots is a dexterous motion in their miniature size. By realizing the complex motions on the tip of surgical tools, it is possible to introduce these surgical robots into patient body to achieve Minimally Invasive Surgery. These previously presented robots can be mainly classified as wire mechanism and link mechanism. The wire mechanism has an advantage on miniaturization in multi-DOF structures. However, there are extension, friction and cutting problems as main drawbacks in using the wire mechanism. On the other hand, rigidity and durability can be obtained by introducing the rigid link mechanism, however, the structure requires usually large number of mechanical components, which can be drawbacks on a cost issue, miniaturization and sterilization.From these backgrounds, we proposed a 2 DOF bending manipulator that includes spring elements in its kinematic structure. The mechanism was developed for a surgical robot, which can implement various surgical treatment devices inside of the manipulator. The spring-link mechanism is a simple combination of a flat spring and a rigid link with a passive joint connection. The outer shell type 2 DOF bending manipulator incorporates four spring-link mechanisms. The most unique feature of the manipulator is that these four springs are interconnected in the kinematics. Therefore, it is possible to realize a robust and backlash-free motion by taking into account the interconnections of the springs such as an internal stress of the structure. In addition, by locating the four spring-link mechanisms around the manipulator, it is possible to place medical devices inside of the manipulator.26th RSJ Best Paper Award in 2012
Spring-link mechanism and developed manipulator
Outer Shell Type 2 DOF Bending Manipulator using a Spring-link Mechanism

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