Soft robots have many applications. They can be used as wearable devices for rehab or handling fragile items. Researchers from Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a method to design robots capable of bending or twisting.
The method developed by the team uses mathematical modeling of fluid-powered, fiber-reinforced actuators to optimize the design of an actuator to perform a certain motion.
This flexible robot can bend like a finger or twist like a thumb. This method can be used to design a flexible robot arm or wearable that assists with moving a limb. More information is available here.