Continuum robot dynamic models have previously involved a choice between high accuracy, numerically intensive models, and low accuracy, computationally efficient models. The objective of this paper is to provide an accurate dynamic model with low computational overhead. Our approach is to place point masses at the center of gravity of the continuum section, rather than along the robot’s backbone or centerline. This enables the model to match the robot’s energetic characteristics with many fewer point masses. We experimentally validate the model using a pneumatic muscle actuated continuum arm. We find that the proposed model successfully captures both the transient and steady state dynamics of the arm.

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