Abstract This article describes new opportunities in soft robotics and some potential avenues to overcome challenges associated with the realization of these opportunities. New opportunities include new applications that exploit novel amorphous nonrigid dynamics, a new design space due to the elimination of traditional manufacturing constraints, more opportunities for modeling and mimicry of natural systems, and increased safety and mechanical compatibility with humans. Challenges include limited simulation and design automation tools, lack of soft actuation methods, and difficulty in manufacturing and component standardization. Both computational (e.g., evolutionary design tools) and mechanical (porous and jamming materials) approaches are proposed to alleviate these needs.
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