In this paper we describe the control approaches tested in the improved version of an existing soft robotic neck with two Degrees Of Freedom (DOF), able to achieve flexion, extension and lateral bending movements similar to those of a human neck. The design is based on a cable-driven mechanism consisting of a spring acting as a cervical spine and three servomotor actuated tendons that let the neck to reach all desired postures. The prototype was manufactured using a 3D printer. Two control approaches are proposed and tested experimentally: a motor position approach using encoder feedback and a tip position approach using Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) feedback, both applying fractional-order controllers. The platform operation is tested for different load configurations so that the robustness of the system can be checked.
soft robotics; soft link; test bench platform; kinematics model; sensorial system; control system