Soft robots make virtual reality gloves feel more real

Credit: University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science

Soft robots, or those made with materials like rubber, gels and cloth, have advantages over their harder, heavier counterparts, especially when it comes to tasks that require direct human interaction. Robots that could safely and gently help people with limited mobility grocery shop, prepare meals, get dressed, or even walk would undoubtedly be life-changing.

However, soft robots currently lack the strength needed to perform these sorts of tasks. This long-standing challenge—making soft robots stronger without compromising their ability to gently interact with their environment—has limited the development of …

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