In-situ repair/maintenance is critical for the key industry sectors (e.g. aerospace, nuclear), which require prompt interventions. The paper reports on a tendon driven continuum robotic machine tool with high manoeuvrability in navigating and machining within confined workspaces. The design reveals the main working principles of the robotic machine tool, followed by its calibration method and a new kinematics compensation approach to account for the deformation of the actuation cables that is that the key enabler for its use in machining tasks, which is based on the geometry of the actuation system. Finally, a set of experimental trials were conducted to show its ability to perform in-situ accurate machining operations in a mock-up aerospace scenario.
Dong, X., Palmer, D., Axinte, D., & Kell, J. (2019). In-situ repair/maintenance with a continuum robotic machine tool in confined space. Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 38, 313-318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmapro.2019.01.024