How to model and control Soft Robots?

Little research is done in the area of motion control of soft and flexible structures. Proposed control-oriented models of soft actuators made of exotic materials are either empirical or too complex for practical use. Controlling soft robotics with continuum bodies is challenging due to their inherently large number of DOF’s, which is difficult to encapsulate. Soft robots differ fundamentally from hyper-redundant robots by having an unconventional structure that lacks joints and rigid links, which obstructs the development of accurate dynamical models. Such models should be accurate enough to adequately capture the complex flexibility, yet simple enough to allow for real-time control. Specific research questions to be addressed include: how can the trade-off between model accuracy and complexity and their applicability to control design be optimised; how can soft robot/actuators models be reduced for real-time control; and how can meta- and multi-materials be modelled?