Anisotropic Patterning to Reduce Instability of Concentric-Tube Robots


As a steerable needle or robotic manipulator, the concentric-tube robot shows sensible potential for use in minimally invasive medical procedures. But, the torsional deformation of the precurved tubes comes at the price of instability, that not only limits the workspace and power path however also probably creates danger of tissue rupture when external load is applied. During this paper, we propose anisotropic patterning of tubes to solve the instability drawback. Hole-patterning can tune the mechanical properties of the tubes so that the ratio of the torsional rigidity to the bending rigidity becomes higher. This study investigates the effect of pattern style parameters by building a lumped analytical model and examining it with finite-element analysis. The pattern is engraved via laser machining and we experimentally verify that material anisotropy reduces instability.

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