Ever since Skynet unleashed a few Terminators, robots in general have been stereotyped as unfeeling metallic brutes. This year however, we have started to see the softer side of robots. I don't mean humanoid-looking robots like Sophia, the first robot to gain citizenship from a country. I am referring to the new field of Soft Robotics, which produces machines more physically sensitive to humans and the world around them.
Advances in Soft Robotics are taking many forms. Some engineers are designing soft robots that mimic living organism’s ability to move through our complex physical world. Other designers are focusing on enabling robots to better interact with humans and other living things. Both soft paths however are based on using new compliant materials, made of innovative combinations of polymers, elastomers, polyurethanes, as well as composite materials.