Ali Shiva


Ali Shiva

PhD. Candidate



Ali received his BSc from Tehran University, Iran, in Mechanical Engineering; and subsequently his MSc in Mechanical Engineering (Dynamics & Control) from the University of Arizona, U.S.A. His Masters thesis is about modelling switching networks using Bond Graphs.
Since October 2014, Ali has been working as a PhD student at the Centre of Robotics Research (CoRe) at King’s College London under the supervision of Dr. Thrish Nanayakkara and Prof. Kaspar Althoefer. His main areas of interest are Dynamics, Multi Body Dynamics, and Control. Ali is currently working on active stiffness control of a pneumatically actuated soft continuum manipulator based on the STIFF FLOP project, entailing modelling, simulation and control of this manipulator. In addition, he is part of the King’s College team on the EU project named FourbyThree  which looks into safe human-robot interaction in industrial settings.

Involvement in Projects during PhD Research

  1. STIFF FLOP Project – EU: STIFF-FLOP  focuses on Challenge 2 – Cognitive systems and robotics. In minimally invasive surgery, tools go through narrow openings and manipulate soft organs that can move, deform, or change stiffness.

STIFF FLOP manipulator is being pressurised, and external force is being applied at the tip by human interaction and measured by the ATI Nano17 force sensor to generate a map between external excitation and change of parameters such as position and internal pressure.

 2. FourByThree Project – EU Horizon2020: This projects looks into the development of a new generation of modular industrial robotic solutions that are suitable for efficient task execution in collaboration with humans in a safe way and are easy to use and program by the factory workers.

Demonstrating Active Stiffness Adjustment in The Baxter Arm Utilising Fuzzy Inference Based on Human/Robot Relative Position/Velocity.


  • PhD. Student : Robotics Engineering, King’s College London, UK (2014-2018 “expected”); Research: “Soft Interaction: Modelling, Simulation and Control of Soft Continuum Manipulators”
  • MSc.: Mechanical Engineering (Control & Dynamics), University of Arizona, USA; Thesis: “Modelling Switching Networks Using Bond Graph Technique”
  • BSc.: Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran; Thesis: “Shape Optimisation in Classifier Systems”
  • IEEE Graduate Student Member
  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Member

Research Interests

  • Robotics
  • Dynamics
  • Multi Body Dynamics
  • Control Engineering


  1. “Tendon-Based Stiffening for A Pneumatically Actuated Soft Manipulator”, A. Shiva, A. Stilli, Y. Noh, A. Faragasso, I. De Falco, G. Gerboni, M. Cianchetti, A. Menciassi, K. Althoefer, H. A. Wurdemann, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Year: 2016, Volume: 1, Issue: 2, Pages: 632 – 637, DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2016.2523120, Cited by: Papers (1), IEEE Journals & Magazines
  2. “A Geometry Deformation Model for Compound Continuum Manipulators with External Loading”, S.M.H. Sadati, A. Shiva, A. Ataka, S.E. Naghibi, I.D. Walker, K. Althoefer, T. Nanayakkara, 2016, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2016)
  3. “Towards Safer Obstacle Avoidance for Continuum-Style Manipulator in Dynamic Environments”, A. Ataka, P. Qi, A. Shiva, A. Shafti, H. A. Wurdemann, P. Dasgupta, K. Althoefer, 2016, IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob2016)
  4. “Real-Time Pose Estimation and Obstacle Avoidance for Multi-segment Continuum Manipulator in Dynamic Environments, Ataka, P. Qi, A. Shiva, A. Shafti, H. A. Wurdemann, H. Liu, K. Althoefer, 2016, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017)
  5. Reactive Motion Planning for Mobile Continuum Arm in Dynamic Industrial Environment”, A. Ataka, A. Shiva, A. Shafti, H. A. Wurdemann, K. Althoefer, 2016, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Climbing & Walking Robots (CLAWAR2016)
  6. “Continuum Manipulators Mechanics, A Comparative Study of Three Methods for Surgery Applications”, S.M.H. Sadati, S.E. Naghibi, A. Shiva, 6th Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery, September 12-14, 2016 (CRAS2016)
  7. “Light Intensity Based Optical Force/Torque Sensor for Robotic Manipulators”, Y. Noh, A. Shiva, E. Hamid, H. Liu, K. Althoefer, K. Rhode, 2016, 6th Joint Workshop on New Technologies for Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery, September 12-14, 2016 (CRAS2016)
  8. (submitted for RA-L/ICRA 2017) “A Novel Fuzzy-based Approach to Real-Time Stiffness Adjustment in Robotic Manipulators for Safe Human-Robot Interaction”, A. Shiva, A. Ataka, A. Shafti, H. A. Wurdemann, K. Althoefer
  9. (submitted for RA-L/ICRA 2017) “Toward a low-cost soft robotic manipulator based on fluid-actuated bellows for gastric cancer screening”, N. Garbin, A. Stilli, A. Shiva, J. Fras, P. R. Slawinski, K. L. Obstein K. Althoefer, H. A. Wurdemann, P. Valdastri
  10. (submitted for ICRA 2017) “Novel Magnetic-field-inspired Obstacle Avoidance for Continuum Manipulator Motion Planning”, A. Ataka, A. Shiva, H. K. Lam, K. Althoefer