Abstract

In this paper, an attempt is made to model and study the planar and spatial dynamics of flexible elephant trunk-like manipulator by using multi-body dynamics software MSC-ADAMS. The flexible manipulator is modelled for bending with variable curvature. The entire manipulator length is divided into two sub-sections with associated lumped mass, damping and stiffness for the dynamic analysis. In this model, each section has three pressure actuated bellow tubes, which are modelled as simple spring-damper with the net mass distributed at the ends. Besides, a torsional spring-damper system is also incorporated in each section model to resist the bending about the transverse axes when the pressures in the bellow tubes are unequal. The manipulator is so designed that due to different actuation forces (corresponding to different bellows), the resultant action is finally a bending moment at the tip of each section. The effect of the gravitational force is also included. The change in behaviour of the end-effector position and orientation with respect to time is studied along with the elongation of bellow tubes. The nature of the velocity profile of the end-effector is also determined to study the behaviour of the manipulator.

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