Reducing Actuators in Soft Continuum Robots and Manipulators

Mohamed Shoani, Mohamed Najib Ribuan, Ahmad Athif Mohd Faudzi, Shahrol Mohamaddan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Soft continuum robots and manipulators (SCRaMs) are elongated structures that can be used in many applications, such as exploration, inspection, and minimally invasive surgery. Multi-segment SCRaMs employ numerous actuators to perform their tasks. The large number of actuators increases the cost and complexity of a SCRaM and reduces its reliability. In this paper, a methodology is presented to reduce the number of actuators employed by SCRaMs while maintaining their volumetric workspace. The method presents a new design approach involving one rotary and two linear actuators, providing three degrees of freedom (DOF) and a volumetric workspace. The result of applying the transformation is a 50–86% reduction in the total number of actuators typically employed by multi-segment SCRaMs. The application of this methodology reduces the cost and complexity of conventional multi-segment SCRaMs while improving their efficiency and reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number462
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • actuator reduction
  • continuum structures
  • design methodology
  • soft robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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