Minimally actuated serial robot

Moshe P. Mann, Lior Damti, Gideon Tirosh, David Zarrouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a novel type of serial robot with minimal actuation. The robot is a serial rigid structure consisting of multiple links connected by passive joints and of movable actuators. The novelty of this robot is that the actuators travel over the links to a given joint and adjust the relative angle between the two adjacent links. The joints passively preserve their angles until one of the actuators moves them again. This actuation can be applied to any serial robot with two or more links. This unique configuration enables the robot to undergo the same wide range of motions typically associated with hyper-redundant robots but with much fewer actuators. The robot is modular and its size and geometry can be easily changed. We describe the robot's mechanical design and kinematics in detail and demonstrate its capabilities for obstacle avoidance with some simulated examples. In addition, we show how an experimental robot fitted with a single mobile actuator can maneuver through a confined space to reach its target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-426
Number of pages19
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Hyper-redundant robot
  • Minimal actuation
  • Mobile actuator
  • Motion planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications


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