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This paper presents a method for estimating drive cable length in an underactuated, hyper-redundant, snake-like manipulator. The continuum manipulator was designed for the surgical removal of osteolysis behind total hip arthroplasties. Two independently actuated cables in a pull-pull configuration control the compliant manipulator in a single plane. Using a previously developed kinematic model, we present a method for estimating drive cable displacement for a given manipulator configuration. This calibrated function is then inverted to explore the ability to achieve local manipulator configurations from prescribed drive cable displacements without the use of continuous visual feedback. Results demonstrate an effectiveness in predicting drive cable lengths from manipulator configurations. Preliminary results also show an ability to achieve manipulator configurations from prescribed cable lengths with reasonable accuracy without continuous visual feedback.
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