What are soft robots?


  • Researchers have now developed soft robots that are capable of navigating complex environments, such as mazes, without input from humans or computer software.

About soft robots

  • Soft robots are robots that are flexible and unlike their hard-edged cousins can be used to perform more delicate manoeuvres, such as reaching into difficult crevices or holding onto delicate objects.

    soft robots
    Photo Credit: AFP
  • They can be programmed to execute specific tasks.
  • Such robots are usually made of liquid crystal elastomers, which are polymers having viscosity and elasticity.
  • Many soft robots are made to resemble living organisms, such as octopus, and are manufactured using 3-D printers.
  • A drawback of these robots derives from their advantage: The soft materials reduce their durability as well make them harder to control.
  • Popular uses of these robots are in surgeries or making specialised exo-suits that can help in rehabilitating patients.



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