Continuum robots - a state of the art

G. Robinson, J. B C Davies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

568 Citations (Scopus)


Like the human limbs which inspired them most robots are discrete mechanisms with rigid links connected by single degree of freedom joints. In contrast 'continuum' and 'serpentine' robot mechanisms move by bending through a series of continuous arcs producing motion which resembles that of biological tentacles or snakes. This paper provides a single reference to the expanding technology of continuum robot mechanisms. It defines the fundamental difference between discrete, serpentine and continuum robot devices; presents the 'state of the art' of continuum robots and outlines their areas of application; and introduces some control issues. Finally some conclusions regarding the continued development of these devices are made.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Proceedings of the 1999 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA99
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Event1999 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Detroit, MI, United States
Duration: 10 May 199915 May 1999


Conference1999 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Abbreviated title ICRA99
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDetroit, MI


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