A unified multi-soft-body dynamic model for underwater soft robots

Federico Renda, Francesco Giorgio-Serchi, Frederic Boyer, Cecilia Laschi, Jorge Dias, Lakmal Seneviratne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A unified formulation that accounts for the dynamics of a general class of aquatic multi-body, soft-structured robots is presented. The formulation is based on a Cosserat formalism where the description of the ensemble of geometrical entities, such as shells and beams, gives rise to a multi-soft-body system capable of simulating both manipulation and locomotion. Conceived as an advanced tool for a priori hardware development, n-degree-of-freedom dynamics analysis and control design of underwater, soft, multi-body, vehicles, the model is validated against aquatic locomotion experiments of an octopus-inspired soft unmanned underwater robot. Upon validation, the general applicability of the model is demonstrated by predicting the self-propulsion dynamics of a diverse range of new viable combinations of multi-soft-body aquatic system.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)648-666
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Robotics Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 May 2018


  • bio-inspired robotics
  • dynamics
  • marine robotics
  • Soft robotics


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