A Consensus Strategy for Decentralized Kinematic Control of Multi-Segment Soft Continuum Robots

Amir Salimi Lafmejani, Hamed Farivarnejad, Azadeh Doroudchi, Spring Berman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a novel decentralized approach to kinematic control of soft segmented continuum robots based on a consensus strategy. The robots under consideration deform in a plane according to a multi-segment Piecewise Constant Curvature (PCC) kinematic model in which each segment is represented as an equivalent rigid-link Revolute-Prismatic-Revolute (RPR) mechanism. In our approach, we assume that each segment of the robot is equipped with sensors to measure joint variables in its local coordinate frame and can communicate with its two adjacent segments. Our consensusbased decentralized control strategy provides an alternative to conventional control methods, which solve the inverse kinematic problem by using computationally intensive numerical methods to calculate the robot's Jacobian matrix at each time instant. We investigate the stability and convergence properties of proposed controllers for position regulation and trajectory tracking tasks and provide theoretical guarantees on the controllers' performance. We evaluate the controllers in simulation for scenarios in which the robot's tip must reach a certain position or follow a specified trajectory. We compare the performance of the position regulator for different controller gains, and we find that a simulated 15-link robot can track a complex reference trajectory with an average root-mean-square error of only 0.16% of the robot's initial length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 American Control Conference, ACC 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538682661
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Event2020 American Control Conference, ACC 2020 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jul 1 2020Jul 3 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2020 American Control Conference, ACC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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