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Massively Parallel GPU Computing of Continuum Robotic Dynamics

Roberto Orellana
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University, 2011

@phdthesis{orellana2011template,

   title={Massively Parallel GPU Computing of Continuum Robotic Dynamics},

   author={Orellana, R.},

   year={2011},

   school={Mississippi State University}

}

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Continuum robots, with the capability of bending and extending at any point along their length mimic the abilities of an octopus arm or an elephant trunk. These manipulators present a number of exciting possibilities. While calculating a static solution for the system has been proven with certain models to produce satisfactory results [1], this approach ignores the significant effects a dynamics solution captures. However, adding time and studying the physical effects produced on a continuum robot involves calculation of the robot’s shape at a number of discrete points. Typically, the separation between points will be very small and thus a solution requires large amounts of computational power. We present a method to improve calculation speed for dynamic problems with the use of CUDA, a framework for parallel GPU computing. GPUs are ideally suited for massively parallel computations because of their multi-processor architecture. Our dynamics solution will take advantage of this parallel environment.
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