Soft Robotics

Collection Editors

Jonathan Rossiter, Laura Blumenschein, Markus Nemitz

Views

2,532 views

Participating Sections

Abstract Submission Deadline

16.02.2024

Submission Deadline

15.03.2024

Extended Deadline

28.06.2024

About this collection

Take a look around: you may be surprised by how many of the things you see were created with the help of robots. Perhaps robots made your clothes or the furniture in your room, or your computer or phone. Robots may have even helped to grow the food you ate for breakfast. In the future, robots will be even more common. One day, not only will many more things be made by robots, but some things could actually be robots themselves! To reach this future, we must start thinking about robots in new and different ways.

Soft robotics is one of these new ways of thinking—this field deals with the use of soft materials to make robots. Today, most robots are made from rigid materials, like plastics and metals, but we could make completely new types of robots using softer materials. There are many reasons we might want to do this. For instance, most living things are quite soft, so using soft materials would allow the creation of robots that act more like animals or plants. Robots made from soft materials would also be a lot safer when interacting with living things, including humans and the natural environment.

This Collection will examine a few of the countless places and ways that softer robots could be used. There are many questions to consider when designing new robots. Just because robots are soft doesn't mean they are always safe, so it will be important to ensure that soft robots are friendly and that they do what the designers want them to do. It is also necessary to consider what will happen to soft robots when they are no longer needed, or when they break. If these robots become common, how can we make sure that they will not pollute the environment?

This Collection will showcase some of the ways robotics scientists and engineers are trying to answer these questions. The aim of the Collection will be to provide you, our readers, with a broad view of what future robots could look like and what they could do, through the lens of soft robotics.

In addition to the Editors hosting, we would acknowledge the coordination and organization efforts of Daniel Gosden.

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