Light weight parallel manipulators are most desirable for aerospace, medical applications etc., where flexibility, low inertia, simplicity in operation, low stowed volume are important parameters. This paper presents the design and simulation of a flexible parallel manipulator with central elastic column that is made of superelastic nitinol. The actuators are shape memory SMA wires of 300um diameter. Unlike conventional rigid link parallel manipulators, the proposed manipulator does not have any joints, which is the major advantage. The proposed manipulator is investigated for its degree of freedom with virtual rigid segment concept and its large deflection is analyzed based on elastica approach. Its control aspect is briefly described and numerical simulation results are presented.
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