Soft robotics

Soft robots are made from soft, elastic materials and offer unique opportunities in areas in which conventional rigid robots are not viable; for example, for drug delivery, non-invasive surgical procedures, as assistive devices, prostheses or artificial organs. The emerging field of soft robotics draws together materials scientists, mechanical and biomedical engineers, and researchers of intelligent systems. The inspiration for the design of many soft robotic systems comes from nature. This focus issue features contributions from leaders in key areas of this multi-disciplinary field with articles about bioinspired microrobots, 3D printing and origami folding of soft robots, actuation and control strategies, the use of hydrogels for soft robots and biomedical applications. Moreover, challenges, design concepts and milestones on the road to clinical translation are discussed.