New “soft robots” are strong enough to lift heavy weights, delicate enough to pluck a raspberry

Scientists have already developed strong, capable robots. The next step is creating delicate, nimble robots — and that’s exactly what Colorado researchers have accomplished. They’ve outfitted robots with muscle-like features, offering them not only the power to manipulate heavy objects but also the gentleness to do so without damaging them.

Already, robots are being used in a myriad of industries, mostly for repetitive tasks which require a lot of power. But, they’re typically rigid and apply a fixed amount of force. Meanwhile, gentler robots and robots which can apply varying force can also be useful. So scientists from the University of Colorado wanted to explore the softer side of these machines.

“We want to do the opposite,” said Christoph Keplinger, assistant professor, “We want robots who will be our friends.”

Read more: New “soft robots” are strong enough to lift heavy weights, delicate enough to pluck a raspberry

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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New “soft robots” are strong enough to lift heavy weights,…

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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