Developing a 3-D, Lumped-Mass Model to Present Behaviour of Large Deformation Surface Based Continuum Robots

  • Hossein HabibiEmail author
  • Rongjie Kang
  • Ian D. Walker
  • Isuru S. Godage
  • David T. Branson
Conference paper
Part of the IUTAM Bookseries book series (IUTAMBOOK, volume 33)


The deployment of continuum robotic surfaces has strong potential over a wide range of engineering disciplines. To allow such compliant, actively actuated surfaces to be controlled accurately and efficiently, reliable kinematic and dynamic models are required. The main challenge appears when the continuum surfaces become very flexible and undergo large deformations, an issue which is little studied in continuum robotics to date. This paper tackles this problem through the application of a lumped-mass approach for analysis of continuum surfaces that are subject to large deformations due to either gravity or external loading applied by representative flexible actuators. The developed model describes the surface kinematics by providing a means of solving for the displacement profile across the surface. The model takes into account all the essential factors such as gravitational effects, material properties of a flexible plate, inertial forces, material damping, and in-depth shear effects across the surface. An experimental setup has been developed to test an actuated flexible surface under different boundary conditions, with results showing mean percentage error of 4.8% at measured surface points.


Large deformation continuum surfaces Soft robotics Lumped-mass modelling 



This work is funded and supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grant number: EP/N022505/1, and the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under grant number: 51611130202.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Habibi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rongjie Kang
    • 2
  • Ian D. Walker
    • 3
  • Isuru S. Godage
    • 4
  • David T. Branson
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Science, Engineering and DesignTeesside UniversityMiddlesbroughUK
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Mechanism Theory and Equipment Design of Ministry of Education, School of Mechanical EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  4. 4.School of ComputingDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Group, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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