Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
XML PDF e-pub
PDF e-Pub

Section: New Results

FEM-based kinematics and closed-loop control of soft, continuum manipulators

This paper presents a modeling methodology and experimental validation for soft manipulators to obtain forward and inverse kinematic models under quasistatic conditions. It offers a way to obtain the kinematic characteristics of this type of soft robots that is suitable for offline path planning and position control. The modeling methodology presented relies on continuum mechanics which does not provide analytic solutions in the general case. Our approach proposes a real-time numerical integration strategy based on Finite Element Method (FEM) with a numerical optimization based on Lagrangian Multipliers to obtain forward and inverse models. To reduce the dimension of the problem, at each step, a projection of the model to the constraint space (gathering actuators, sensors and end-effector) is performed to obtain the smallest number possible of mathematical equations to be solved. This methodology is applied to obtain the kinematics of two different manipulators with complex structural geometry. An experimental comparison is also performed in one of the robots, between two other geometric approaches and the approach that is showcased in this paper. A closed-loop controller based on a state estimator is proposed. The controller is experimentally validated and its robustness is evaluated using Lyapunov stability method.

Figure 7. Visual model of the manipulator and the underlying finite element model.