As much as we love soft robots (and we really love soft robots), the vast majority of them operate pneumatically (or hydraulically) at larger scales, especially when they need to exert significant amounts of force. This causes complications, because pneumatics and hydraulics generally require a pump somewhere to move fluid around, so you often see soft robots tethered to external and decidedly non-soft power sources. There’s nothing wrong with this, really, because there are plenty of challenges that you can still tackle that way, and there are some up-and-coming technologies that might result in soft pumps or gas generators. Researchers at Stanford have developed a new kind of (mostly) soft robot based around a series of compliant, air-filled tubes. It’s human scale, moves around, doesn’t require a pump or tether, is more or less as safe as large robots get, and even manages to play a little bit of basketball.
Researchers created a new approach to VR that will allow multiple players to interact with the same VR app on smartphones and provide new opportunities for education, health care and entertainment. More details
A new type of robot combines traditional and soft robotics, making it safe but sturdy. Once inflated, it can change shape and move without being attached to a source of energy or air. More details