Design and Validation of a Novel Fuzzy-Logic-Based Static Feedback Controller for Tendon-Driven Continuum Robots

Weiming Ba, Xin Dong, Abdelkhalick Mohammad, Mingfeng Wang, Dragos Axinte, Andy Norton

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Continuum robots (CRs) outperform the conventional rigid-link manipulators in aspects of hyper-redundant and compliant features. They provide universal and efficient solutions to access to constrained environments, e.g., aero engines and industrial vessels. In this article, a slender tendon-driven CR (length/diameter: 715/12.7 mm) is introduced for in situ maintenance of aero engine combustors. Two control challenges, the piecewise-constant-curvature (PCC) assumption mismatch and sections coupling issues, are discussed to explain the defect of model-based kinematic controllers on specific designs. Then, inspired by the tug of war, a novel local model-less controller utilizing a fuzzy logic algorithm is proposed for the feedback control of a single section. This implements the control policies directly from the task space to the actuation space, avoiding the model mismatch of the PCC assumption owing to the explicit call of arc parameters. Experiments on a single section of the tendon-driven CR, in comparison with PCC-based method, validate the stability and universality of the developed controller, which can reach ± 1-mm overall positioning accuracy and ± 0.5-mm positional accuracy for 75% of the test points in both X and Y directions. Further, a set of trails on two distal sections of a long robot demonstrate that the controller can also effectively minimize the section coupling issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3010-3021
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuum robot (CR)
  • fuzzy logic
  • model-less static controller
  • tendon-driven

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Design and Validation of a Novel Fuzzy-Logic-Based Static Feedback Controller for Tendon-Driven Continuum Robots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this