Table of Contents
ISRN Robotics
Volume 2013, Article ID 890609, 9 pages
Research Article

From the Human Spine to Hyperredundant Robots: The ERMIS Mechanism

1Bristol Robotics Laboratory, University of Bristol and University of the West of England, T Block, Frenchay Campus, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
2Department of Robotics and Mechatronics, Nazarbayev University, 53 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 9 July 2013

Academic Editors: L. Asplund, C.-C. Tsai, and Y. Zhou

Copyright © 2013 Ioannis Georgilas and Vassilios Tourassis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mechatronics are occasionally inspired by nature for joint designs in order to exploit the advantages of the biological ones in terms of mobility and articulation. Within this context and based upon the human spine for structure and actuation, the authors will present a novel hyperredundant mechanism, named ERMIS. The muscle-skeletal system of the human trunk will be described and modelled, and the elements that are being replicated by the mechanical analog will be analysed. It will be shown that the vertebrae-intervertebral disk arrangement can be emulated by a spherical-type configuration, the proposed Disk-Ball-Disk joint. Furthermore, the muscle actuation system is being recreated by a system of wires and pulleys. The relevant kinematic models will be developed, and both simulation and experimental data to evaluate its operation will be demonstrated.