Special Issue on Science of Soft Robots
Koichi Suzumori, Ryuma Niiyama, Kenjiro Fukuda, and Kohei Nakajima
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology
2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering Informatics, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Meiji University
1-1-1 Higashimita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-8571, Japan
Senior Research Scientist, Thin-Film Device Laboratory, RIKEN
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology / Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Research Center, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
The science of soft robots, or soft robotics, is currently one of the most active fields in robotics. While traditional robots consist of rigid bodies, powerful servomotors, and carefully coded programs to realize power, precision, and reliability, soft robots consist of soft and flexible bodies, actuators, and intelligence for adaptability. They are not rigid, but instead flexible toward their surroundings. These differences have the potential to make soft robotics a great new field in robotics.
A JSPS KAKENHI project “Science of Soft Robots” has been in progress in Japan since 2018. Part of this special issue is made in collaboration with this project. This special issue consists of 46 works in total: 2 review papers, 29 letters, and 15 papers. One review paper, 29 letters, and 3 research papers report research activities from the JSPS KAKENHI project, and the other review paper and 12 research papers have been contributed from outside the project. As this issue will make clear, the science of soft robots is a very interdisciplinary academic field, a collaboration of many researchers from various fields, such as mechanical/electrical engineering, computer science, material sciences, biology, zoology, medicine, and nursing, among others. We believe interdisciplinary work to be a key point for the exploration of soft robotics.
The editors thank all of the authors and reviewers of the contributions, and are confident that this special issue will greatly contribute to further progress in robotics.
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationa License.