TitleDynamic Control of Soft Robots Interacting with the Environment
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of PublicationIn Press
Conference NameIEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics
AuthorsC. Della Santina,, Katzschmann, RK, Bicchi, A, Rus, D
Conference Location24 - 28 April 2018, Livorno, Italy

Despite the emergence of many soft-bodied robotic

systems, model-based feedback control has remained an open

challenge. This is largely due to the intrinsic difficulties in

designing controllers for systems with infinite dimensions. In

this paper we propose an alternative formulation of the soft

robot dynamics which connects the robot’s behavior with the

one of a rigid bodied robot with elasticity in the joints. The

matching between the two system is exact under the common

hypothesis of Piecewise Constant Curvature. Based on this

connection we introduce two control architectures, with the

aim of achieving accurate curvature control and Cartesian

regulation of the robot’s impedance, respectively. The curvature

controller accounts for the natural softness of the system,

while the Cartesian controller adapts the impedance of the

end effector for interactions with an unstructured environment.

This work proposes the first closed loop dynamic controller

for a continuous soft robot. The controllers are validated

and evaluated on a physical soft robot capable of planar


Refereed DesignationRefereed
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