Stiffness Control of Soft Robotic Manipulator for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) Using Scale Jamming

  • S. M. Hadi SadatiEmail author
  • Yohan Noh
  • S. Elnaz Naghibi
  • Althoefer Kaspar
  • Thrishantha Nanayakkara
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9246)


Continuum and soft robotics showed many applications in medicine from surgery to health care where their compliant nature is advantageous in minimal invasive interaction with organs. Stiffness control is necessary for challenges with soft robots such as minimalistic actuation, less invasive interaction, and precise control and sensing. This paper presents an idea of scale jamming inspired by fish and snake scales to control the stiffness of continuum manipulators by controlling the Coulomb friction force between rigid scales. A low stiffness spring is used as the backbone for a set of round curved scales to maintain an initial helix formation while two thin fishing steel wires are used to control the friction force by tensioning. The effectiveness of the design is showed for simple elongation and bending through mathematical modelling, experiments and in comparison to similar research. The model is tested to control the bending stiffness of a STIFF-FLOP continuum manipulator module designed for surgery.


Stiffness control Soft robot Continuum manipulator Layer jamming Scale 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Hadi Sadati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yohan Noh
    • 1
  • S. Elnaz Naghibi
    • 2
  • Althoefer Kaspar
    • 1
  • Thrishantha Nanayakkara
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Robotics Research, Department of InformaticsKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary, University of LondonLondonUK

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