Recent Advances in Electrically Driven Soft Actuators across Dimensional Scales from 2D to 3D

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2300070
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Intelligent Systems
Issue number2
Online published22 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


Soft actuators have been an important research focus in robotics due to their advantages in nondestructive contact and excellent motion adaptability, which enable flexible manipulation, extreme environments exploration, and in vivo surgical treatment. Various soft robots actuated electrically, magnetically, optically, and fluidically are built toward different application scenarios. Among them, electrical actuation method is an advanced choice to actuate and control soft actuators that are expected to be compatible and integrated with existing industrial robotic systems and wearable intelligent devices. Current robotic systems have higher requirements on the actuators' function, which can be explored through material and structural designs. Based on a variety of deformable materials, the structural design enables the soft actuators to span from low dimension to high dimension with further improvement in function. Therefore, in this review, 2D and 3D electrical-based soft actuators from the perspective of dimension design are introduced, which involve functional materials, structure design, and fabrication technology. Some novel 3D fabrication methods, such as the 3D compressive buckling process, are summarized to build 3D soft robots. This review aims at offering important guidelines for the development of soft actuators and the construction of integrated robotic systems in the future. © 2023 The Authors. Advanced Intelligent Systems published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

Research Area(s)

  • 3D compressive buckling, 3D robots, electrical soft actuators, origami robots, soft robots, MECHANICAL ACTUATORS, STRAIN SENSORS, MESOSTRUCTURES, DESIGN, MICROSTRUCTURES, CONSTRUCTION, FABRICATION, DEVICES, COMPLEX, FEM