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In Soft matter

Compared to traditional rigid-bodied robots, soft robots are constructed using physically flexible/elastic bodies and electronics to mimic nature and enable novel applications in industry, healthcare, aviation, military, etc. Recently, the fabrication of robots on soft matter with great flexibility and compliance has enabled smooth and sophisticated 'multi-degree-of-freedom' 3D actuation to seamlessly interact with humans, other organisms and non-idealized environments in a highly complex and controllable manner. Herein, we summarize the fabrication approaches, driving strategies, novel applications, and future trends of soft robots. Firstly, we introduce the different fabrication approaches to prepare soft robots and compare and systematically discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Then, we present the actuator-based and material-based driving strategies of soft robotics and their characteristics. The representative applications of soft robotics in artificial intelligence, medicine, sensors, and engineering are summarized. Also, some remaining challenges and future perspectives in soft robotics are provided. This work highlights the recent advances of soft robotics in terms of functional material selection, structure design, control strategies and biomimicry, providing useful insights into the development of next-generation functional soft robotics.

Dong Xiaoxiao, Luo Xiaohang, Zhao Hong, Qiao Chenyu, Li Jiapeng, Yi Jianhong, Yang Li, Oropeza Francisco J, Hu Travis Shihao, Xu Quan, Zeng Hongbo