These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional. The advance was made possible by creating soft, tubular actuators whose movements are electrically controlled, which makes them easy to integrate with small electronic components. As a proof of concept, engineers used these new actuators to build a soft, untethered, battery-powered, walking robot and a soft gripper.

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