Soft robots are getting smarter all the time. This stretchable optical lace material developed by Ph.D. student Patricia Xu can gift soft robots the ability to sense how they interact with their environment. A flexible, porous lattice structure manufactured from 3D-printed polyurethane was used for this project.
When the structure is pressed, the sensors can pinpoint the changes in photo flow thanks to the LED light that illuminates the fiber. The idea is to use such material as the flesh for robots of the future.