Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics


Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Hongyan Yuan


In this thesis, a modular design of a soft continuum robotic arm is developed. This design enables the connection of an arbitrary number of identical modules in order to build a snake-like robot in a plug-and-play fashion. After introducing the purpose and motivation of this research, the necessary basics for this project are presented, followed by a review of existing soft continuum robots in the state of the art. The main part of this work starts with presenting the design of the required 3D manufactured parts as well as the fabrication of the soft deformable body of the robot. With the first successfully produced soft cylinder, a static experiment is presented. In order to find a fitting Finite Element Method (FEM) model for the silicone cylinder, different types of simulations are demonstrated and compared to the experimental results. After completion of the statics part, various programs are written to control the motors. By tracking the location of the robot’s tip with the help of an electromagnetic tracking system, the repeatability of the robot is determined in different bending positions. Results of those experiments are presented and discussed. Finally, a conclusion and an outlook for further research in the future is given.

Modular Design.mp4 (24048 kB)
Modular Design



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.