Special Issue "Soft Actuators"


A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (16 December 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Bram Vanderborght
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Building Z - Room ZW105b, Pleinlaan, 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Website: http://mech.vub.ac.be/multibody/members/bram.htm
E-Mail: bram.vanderborght@vub.ac.be
Interests: variable impedance actuators; humanoids; bipedal locomotion; rehabilitation robotics; social robots; robot assisted therapies

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Fumiya Iida
Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems ETH Zurich Leonhardstrasse 27 8092 Zürich Switzerland
Website: http://www.birl.ethz.ch/people/iidaf
E-Mail: fumiya.iida@mavt.ethz.ch
Interests: biologically inspired robotics; embodied artificial intelligence; biomechanics; dynamic legged locomotion; navigation of autonomous robots; human-machine interactions

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Cecilia Laschi
The BioRobotics Institute Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33 56127 Pisa Italy
Website: http://sssa.bioroboticsinstitute.it/user/57
E-Mail: cecilia.laschi@sssup.it
Interests: soft robotics; biomimetic robotics; humanoid robotics; neurodevelopmental engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The use of soft/compliant elements is one of the oldest ways to store energy and was one of the few available to our ancestors. In ancient history they used it for their catapults and clocks and Da Vinci used his knowledge on springs to design one of the first automata driven by elastic energy. On the other hand, the start of automation/robotics was characterized with actuators that had to be as stiff as possible. For the future generation of robots however the advantages of stiff actuators like precision trajectory tracking, become less important compared to other requirements like energy efficiency, safety, force accuracy, Although recently several platforms using soft actuators like the robotic co-worker Baxter, BioRob arm, have been introduced on the market, the field of soft actuators faces still a number of fundamental scientific challenges and the optimal exploitation of their properties in applications need to be better understood. Therefore this special issue targets high quality publications spanning the following topics:

  • design of novel soft actuators
  • force, motion and stiffness control
  • safety issues in physical human-robot interaction
  • energy efficiency
  • explosive motions like throwing, kicking,..
  • applications with strong focus on role on soft actuator
  • control and actuation of continuum and/or large DOF bodies

Prof. Dr. Bram Vanderborght
Prof. Dr. Fumiya Iida
Prof. Dr. Cecilia Laschi
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • soft actuators
  • variable impedance actuator
  • energy efficiency
  • safety
  • robustness
  • physical human robot interaction
  • control strategies

Published Papers (1 paper)

Actuators 2014, 3(2), 20-40; doi:10.3390/act3020020
Received: 30 December 2013; in revised form: 25 March 2014 / Accepted: 26 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (2281 KB)

Last update: 24 January 2014

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