Constrained Motion Planning of a Cable-Driven Soft Robot with Compressible Curvature Modeling

Jiewen Lai, Bo Lu, Qingxiang Zhao, Henry K. Chu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A cable-driven soft robot with redundancy can perform the tip trajectory tracking task and in the meanwhile fulfill some extra constraints, such as tracking with a designated tip orientation, or avoiding obstacles in the environment. These constraints require proper motion planning of the soft material-based body that can be axially compressed. In this letter, we derive the compressible curvature kinematics of a cable-driven soft robot which takes the undesirable axial compression caused by the cable-driven mechanism into account. Robot motion planning for tip trajectory tracking tasks in constrained conditions, including fixed orientation tip and manipulator-obstacle collision avoidance, are investigated. The inverse solution of cable actuation is formulated as a damped least-square optimization problem and iteratively computed off-line. The performance of path and trajectory tracking, and the obedience to constraints are evaluated via the simulation we make open-source, as well as prototype experiments. The method can be generalized to similar multisegment cable-driven soft robotic systems by customizing the robot parameters for the prior motion planning in tip trajectory following tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4813-4820
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • and learning for soft robots
  • constrained motion planning
  • control
  • Modeling
  • whole-body motion planning and control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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