ModLab UPenn the modular robotics laboratory at the university of pennsylvania

Tether-Tube Robots

Tether-Tube Robot are a new type of parallel robots constructed from tethers and tubes. It is similar to cable robots but, rather than just using cables, expanding tubes are also used to do actuation. This design is achieved by utilizing a novel prismatic joint called Spiral Zipper developed in ModLab.

Tether-Tube Robots Application and Hardware

Tether-tube robots, comprised of multiple tethers and tubes, can be applied to a variety of hardware systems shown in the following figure. A robotic manipulator can be built with three tethers and one tube mounted on a mobile base (left figure). A VTT edge module is composed of a tube and two passive joints and multiple edges modules can construct a node by merging their joints.


Spiral Zipper Manipulator for Aerial Grasping and Manipulation

Proc. IROS 2019

We present a novel manipulator for aerial vehicles to perform grasping and manipulation tasks. The goal is to design a low-cost, relatively light but strong manipulator with a large workspace and compact storage space that can be mounted on an unmanned aerial system. A novel design solution based on the Spiral Zipper, an expanding tube, combined with tether actuators is presented.

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