What is soft robotics?

Solutions to just about every hard engineering problem in robotics can be found in the biology of animals, where nature seems to be telling us to ‘take a softer approach’

A leading researcher in this field, Rolf Pfeifer (AI Lab, University of Zurich) took his inspiration from work on ‘embodied cognition’.

His criteria for soft robotics:

  • soft to the touch
  • soft in their interaction
  • soft and natural in their movements

Soft robotics is part of a much bigger subject called ‘bio-inspired robotics‘.

A lot of this subject is devoted to locomotion, so I thought I would track down an excellent video on this aspect:

The topic of soft robotics has its own peer-reviewed journal SoRo.

According to this press release the journal:

“provides the latest research and developments on topics such as”:

  • soft material creation, characterization, and modeling
  • flexible and degradable electronics
  • soft actuators and sensors
  • control and simulation of highly deformable structures
  • biomechanics
  • control of soft animals and tissues
  • biohybrid devices and living machines
  • design and fabrication of conformable machines