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We present a new variable curvature continuum kinematics for multisection continuum robots with arbitrarily shaped backbone curves assembled from sections with three degrees of freedom (DoFs) (spatial bending and extension, no torsion). For these robots, the forward kinematics and the differential forward kinematics are derived. The proposed model approach is capable of reproducing both the constant and variable backbone curvature in a closed form. It describes the deformation of a single section with a finite number of serially connected circular arcs. This yields a section model with piecewise constant and, thus, a variable section curvature. Model accuracy and its suitability for kinematic real-time control applications are demonstrated with simulations and experimental data. To solve the redundant inverse kinematics problem, a local resolution of redundancy at the velocity level through the use of the robot's Jacobian matrix is presented. The Jacobian is derived analytically, including a concept for regularization in singular configurations. Experimental data are recorded with Festo's Bionic Handling Assistant. This continuum robot is chosen for experimental validation, as it consists of a variable backbone curvature because of its conically tapering shape.