This paper addresses the theoretical modeling of the dynamics of a pressure-operated soft snake robot. An accurate dynamic model is a fundamental requirement for optimization, control, navigation, and learning algorithms for a mobile robot that can undergo serpentine locomotion. Such algorithms can be readily implemented for traditional rigid robots, but remain a challenge for nonlinear and low-bandwidth soft robotic systems. A framework to solve the 2-D modeling problem of a soft robotic snake is detailed with a general approach applicable to most pressure-operated soft robots that are developed by a modular kinematic arrangement of bending-type fluidic elastomer actuators. The model is simulated using measured physical parameters of the robot and workspace. The theoretical results are verified through a proof-of-concept comparison to locomotion experiments on a flat surface with measured frictional properties. Experimental results indicate that the proposed model describes the motion of the robot.

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