A 3 DOFs Mini Variable Stiffness Soft Pneumatic Actuator

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


Surgical robots for minimal access surgery are used to enhance surgeon’s performance by motion scaling and reduction of physiological tremor. The advantages of rigid robots include high precision and fast movements. However, an active control is needed for safe interaction with organs and tissues. In contrast, soft robots are intrinsically safe, but they have limited precision movements, and require an integral sensory feedback. In the present study we describe a mini soft pneumatic cylindrical actuator (12x15 mm) that can change its stiffness by means of antagonistic tendons. The actuator has 3 degrees of freedom (DOFs) and on-board flexible sensors to measure its movement and to implement position control. We report the design and construction of the i) soft actuator, ii) the stretchable sensory system, iii) closed-loop control, and iv) experimental data on range of motion and the controllable stiffness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ACTUATOR 2018
Subtitle of host publication16th International Conference on New Actuators
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-8007-4675-0
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2018


  • Soft Hollow Actuator
  • Variable Stiffness Actuator
  • Medical Robots

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A 3 DOFs Mini Variable Stiffness Soft Pneumatic Actuator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Manfredi, L., Yue, L., & Cuschieri, A. (2018). A 3 DOFs Mini Variable Stiffness Soft Pneumatic Actuator. In Proceedings of ACTUATOR 2018: 16th International Conference on New Actuators