Soft robotic manipulators are continuum robots made of soft materials that undergo continuous elastic deformation and produce motion with a smooth backbone curve. These manipulators offer significant advantages over traditional manipulators due to their ability to conform to their surroundings, move with dexterity and manipulate objects of widely varying size using whole arm manipulation. Soft robotic manipulators are complex and difficult to design, model and fabricate. In this paper, we present a cost effective design for a pneumatic air muscle based soft robotic manipulator in which the actuators for the distal section extend from the base to the tip of the arm, thereby simplifying the pneumatic design and eliminating the need for endplates. We compare the workspace and dexterity of continuous tube (CT) design with a previously developed OctArm type manipulator and conclude that although the two designs have comparable workspace area, the OctArm workspace has better dexterity characteristics.

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