Soft robotics is by now a well established trend that is emerging from the bio-inspired robotic research field. Its main aim is the development of machines that not only exhibit more natural movements, but also are made by soft material, such as silicon rubbers, with properties similar to biological tissues. The use of such materials has the potential to lead to robots that are more adaptable, more capable, and safer than the existing ones. However, introducing softness into the mechanics opens new design and control issues that completely differ from the ones in classical robotics.
The research at ALTAIR into this fields is focused on bridging the gap between those two different types of devices. Of particular interest is the development of adaptable sensing system that can provide information (such as spatial configuration, and feedback from the surrounding) to enable a more precise control of the soft-robotic device.