Static kinematics for an antagonistically actuated robot based on a beam-mechanics-based model
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Soft robotic structures might play a major role in the 4 th industrial revolution. Researchers have successfully demonstrated advantages of soft robotics over traditional robots made of rigid links and joints in several application areas including manufacturing, healthcare and surgical interventions. However, soft robots have limited ability to exert higher forces when it comes to interaction with the environment, hence, change their stiffness on demand over a wide range. One stiffness mechanism embodies tendon-driven and pneumatic air actuation in an antagonistic way achieving variable stiffness values. In this paper, we apply a beam-mechanics-based model to this type of soft stiffness controllable robot. This mathematical model takes into account the various stiffness levels of the soft robotic manipulator as well as interaction forces with the environment at the tip of the manipulator. The analytical model is implemented into a robotic actuation system made of motorised linear rails with load cells (obtaining applied forces to the tendons) and a pressure regulator. Here, we present and analyse the performance and limitations of our model.