To date, there is no unified way to mathematically represent a soft robot; instead, several complementary and disjoined modeling approaches have been proposed so far. For this reason, as opposed to traditional rigid robotics, there are no standard computational tools for the mechanical and control design of this new class of robots, and this has prevented the soft robotics field to reach its full potential.
In this project, we will take a cue from the authors’ most recent works to build and demonstrate a unified modeling framework capable of modeling soft and rigid robots within the same formulation, creating a standard for the modeling and control of soft robots. A complete and systematic generalization of the main concepts of robotics will be proposed. This unprecedented attempt will be based on a new modeling approach called Piecewise Constant Strain, which is a generalization of the geometric theory of robotics developed since Brockett’s original work on the subject. The result of this unification and generalization will be transferred into existing robotics simulation platforms in the form of toolbox and software packages. In particular, a MATLAB toolbox and SOFA packages will be developed for mechanical design and low-level control and high-level control, respectively.