Soft Robotics pp 255-264 | Cite as

Soft Robotics Research, Challenges, and Innovation Potential, Through Showcases

  • Cecilia Laschi
Conference paper


Soft robotics, intended as the use of soft materials in robotics, is a young yet promising and growing research field. The need for soft robots emerged in robotics, for facing unstructured environments, and in artificial intelligence, too, for implementing the embodied intelligence, or morphological computation, paradigm, which attributes a stronger role to the bodyware and its interaction with the environment. Using soft materials for building robots poses new technological challenges: the technologies for actuating soft materials, for embedding sensors into soft robot parts, for controlling soft robots are among the main ones. Though still in its early stages of development, soft robotics is finding its way in a variety of applications, where safe contact is a main issue, in the biomedical field, as well as in exploration tasks and in the manufacturing industry. Literature in soft robotics is increasingly rich, though scattered in many disciplines. The soft robotics community is growing worldwide and initiatives are being taken, at international level, for consolidating this community and strengthening its potential for disruptive innovation.


Shape Memory Alloy Soft Material Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Remotely Operate Vehicle IEEE Trans Robot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia Laschi
    • 1
  1. 1.The BioRobotics InstituteScuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly

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