Characterizing Stiffness of Multi-Segment Flexible Arm Movements

David Held, Yoram Yekutieli and Tamar Flash
Conference Paper, International Conference on Robotics and Automa= tion (ICRA), May, 2012

Download Publication

Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


A number of robotic studies have recently turned to biological inspiration in designing control schemes for flexible robots. Examples of such robots include continuous manipulators inspired by the octopus arm. However, the control strategies used by an octopus in moving its arms are still not fully understood. Starting from a dynamic model of an octopus arm and a given set of muscle activations, we develop a simulation technique to characterize the stiffness throughout a motion and at multiple points along the arm. By applying this technique to reaching and bending motions, we gain a number of insights that can help a control engineer design a biologically inspired impedance control scheme for a flexible robot arm. The framework developed is a general one that can be applied to any motion for any dynamic model. We also propose a theoretical analysis to efficiently estimate the stiffness analytically given a set of muscle activations.This analysis can be used to quickly evaluate the stiffness for new static configurations and dynamic movements.

author = {David Held and Yoram Yekutieli and Tamar Flash},
title = {Characterizing Stiffness of Multi-Segment Flexible Arm Movements},
booktitle = {International Conference on Robotics and Automa= tion (ICRA)},
year = {2012},
month = {May},
} 2017-12-07T16:39:55-04:00