Sliding-surface dynamic control of a continuum manipulator with large workspace

Mohammad Sheikh Sofla*, Mohammad Jafar Sadigh, Hadi Sadati, Christos Bergeles, Mohammad Zareinejad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the trajectory tracking control of a multi-section continuum and compliant manipulator with large workspace. Fluidic muscles are utilized as actuators in this manipulator and inertial sensors used to measure its shape in configuration space. The robot's large workspace signifies the effects of the inertial, gravitational, and applied external forces on the trajectory tracking control of the robot end-effector. In this study, a model-based sliding-surface controller is proposed by deriving a simplified Pseudo-Rigid Body (PRB) dynamic model, which utilizes modified constant curvature assumptions to describe the couplings between the robot sections and actuators. Simplification steps are proposed for a PRB dynamic model by eliminating negligible dynamic effects to achieve a computationally efficient implementation with real-time control performance. The unmodeled dynamics and the error of model simplifications are considered as system uncertainties and an integral sliding surface with a variable sliding gain is proposed to overcome these uncertain dynamics. The sliding gain considers changes in the upper bounds of uncertainties. The closed-loop system stability in trajectory tracking is mathematically proved based on the Lyapunov stability theorem. Experiments throughout the manipulator's large workspace in challenging configurations including sudden release of unknown loads at the robot tip also highlight the potential of our contributed controller.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105680
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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