Controlling a CyberOctopus Soft Arm with Muscle-like Actuation

Heng Sheng Chang, Udit Halder, Ekaterina Gribkova, Arman Tekinalp, Noel Naughton, Mattia Gazzola, Prashant G. Mehta

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


This paper presents an application of the energy shaping methodology to control a flexible, elastic Cosserat rod model of a single octopus arm. The novel contributions of this work are two-fold: (i) a control-oriented modeling of the anatomically realistic internal muscular architecture of an octopus arm; and (ii) the integration of these muscle models into the energy shaping control methodology. The control-oriented modeling takes inspiration in equal parts from theories of nonlinear elasticity and energy shaping control. By introducing a stored energy function for muscles, the difficulties associated with explicitly solving the matching conditions of the energy shaping methodology are avoided. The overall control design problem is posed as a bilevel optimization problem. Its solution is obtained through iterative algorithms. The methodology is numerically implemented and demonstrated in a full-scale dynamic simulation environment Elastica. Two bio-inspired numerical experiments involving the control of octopus arms are reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication60th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781665436595
StatePublished - 2021
Event60th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2021 - Austin, United States
Duration: Dec 13 2021Dec 17 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Conference60th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Cosserat rod
  • Hamiltonian systems
  • energy-shaping control
  • octopus
  • soft robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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