Soft Robots – Safe Interaction by Compliance

Conventional robotic applications typically require high forces and high accuracy, while for new robotic applications flexibility and minimization of risk potential are more important. This can be achieved with soft robots. At the Institute of Mechanics and Ocean Engineering we are developing sensorized soft grippers and control methods for soft robots.

Conventional rigid robots are very well suited for highly repetitive tasks that require high forces and accuracy. However, their application to new fields such as healthcare, humane-machine interaction or gripping of fragile and differently shaped objects is limited by their high risk potential and lack of flexibility. One approach to closing this gap is the use of soft robots. Soft robots are usually made of soft materials such as silicone or foam. This allows large elastic deformations, limits the occurring forces and minimizes their risk potential. At the same time, very different objects can be gripped with one and the same soft gripper, since soft robots can easily adapt to different shapes.

The goal of our research is to improve the supervision and control of soft grippers by integrating gripping force and shape sensors. Additionally, we aim to improve the agility and accuracy of soft robots by developing modern dynamic control methods for soft robots.


  • Malte Grube, Institute of Mechanics and Ocean Engineering,
  • Prof. Robert Seifried, Institute of Mechanics and Ocean Engineering,