SLAM-Based Follow-the-Leader Deployment of Concentric Tube Robots


This paper deals with an original combination of navigation by simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and follow-the-leader (FTL) deployment for the control of concentric tube robots (CTRs). The objective is to make possible the automatic navigation of such continuum robots within an anatomical structure, by simultaneously managing both collision avoidance and map updating of the environment, i.e., of the surrounding anatomical structures. Indeed, CTRs designed to achieve a FTL deployment to date were deployed on path identified during a planning task. In this work, this limitation is overcome by embedding, in the control scheme, an online trajectory estimation, therefore allowing an autonomous deployment of CTRs with an approximate FTL behavior. The proposed hybrid control law integrates a stability criterion to ensure at the same time CTR stability during deployment, required for a FTL deployment. The interest of the approach is demonstrated through simulation using realistic anatomical data and experiments, with a 3 degrees-of-freedom CTR.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Cédric Girerd
Cédric Girerd
CNRS Researcher

My research interests include continuum, soft and inflatable robots for medical application and inspection tasks.