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Continuum robots: an overview

Russo, Matteo; Sadati, S.M. Hadi; Dong, Xin; Mohammad, Abdelkhalick; Walker, Ian D.; Bergeles, Christos; Xu, Kai; Axinte, Dragos A.


Matteo Russo

S.M. Hadi Sadati

Abdelkhalick Mohammad

Ian D. Walker

Christos Bergeles

Kai Xu

Professor of Manufacturing Engineering


In this paper, we discuss recent advances, current limitations, and open challenges in the design, modeling, and control of continuum robots. Thanks to their lean bodies, these robots achieve a long reach through narrow and tortuous environments, enabling currently unachievable tasks for medical, industrial, and service applications. The recent surge in research on these robots led to significant advances in design, modeling, and control methods. Here, we examine these developments with a comprehensive review of existing continuum robots and emerging technologies. We then compare modeling and control approaches, and examine navigation strategies exclusive to continuum robots, such as follow-the-leader, coiling, and circumnutation. Finally, we provide an overview of their applications with a focus on industrial and service tasks, outlining open research challenges and future developments.


Russo, M., Sadati, S. H., Dong, X., Mohammad, A., Walker, I. D., Bergeles, C., …Axinte, D. A. (in press). Continuum robots: an overview. Advanced Intelligent Systems,

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Feb 14, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 16, 2023
Journal Advanced Intelligent Systems
Print ISSN 2640-4567
Electronic ISSN 2640-4567
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Continuum Robots; Soft Robots; Robotics; Modeling; Control; Design
Public URL