Special Issue "Soft Perceptive Robots"

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Lucia Beccai

Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Pontedera, Italy
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: +39-050-883-079(400)
Interests: artificial touch, bioinspired mechanical sensing, soft manipulation, soft robotics, 3D soft milli/microfabrication technologies, triboelectric nanogenerators, wearable soft sensing
Guest Editor
Dr. Kathryn Daltorio

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bio-inspired robotics, bio-inspired sensor processing, soft locomotion
Guest Editor
Dr. Barbara Mazzolai

Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Pontedera, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: + 39 050 883444
Interests: plant-inspired robotics, self-growing robots, soft robotics, biomimetics, robotics for biology, variable stiffness soft actuators, plant-hybrid energy
Guest Editor
Dr. Hongbo Wang

Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Pontedera, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Tactile sensing, stretchable sensors, soft robotics, smart materials, sensing electronics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the past few years, soft robotics has been rising up rapidly as an emerging research topic with some remarkable achievements, which are opening new possibilities for a safe robot-enabled society. Unlike their rigid counterparts, soft robots can actively and passively change their shape for safe, robust and effective interactions by simple control methods. Obtaining autonomy and going beyond open-loop control requires the integration of multi-modal sensors into these soft-bodied systems. In particular, mechanical sensing (pressure, strain, etc.) plays a vital role. To perform their tasks as smoothly as biological systems, soft robots need tactile sensibility to gather external cues while dealing with exploratory movements, and the grasping and manipulation of unknown objects. At the same time, body movements in space must be known in order to provide spatial context to exploration and to underlie control policies. More physical sensing modalities (temperature, light, etc.), as well as chemical sensing capabilities could help soft robots to merge in the real-world in the near future. All this is highly challenging and requires a strong interplay among the actuation mechanics of soft bodies, the sensing morphology and functionality, and the soft robotic interaction with the environment. To meet these challenges, novel deformable materials, novel composites and structures, fabrication techniques, and transducer mechanisms are explored. In particular for tactile sensors, a variety of soft material and transducer mechanisms (resistive, piezoresistive, capacitive, optical, magnetic, etc.) are available, but there is still a gap to effectively utilize them in soft robots for real-world applications. New flexible/deformable strategies, from 2D to 3D, have to be exploited to pursue a symbiotic integration of sensing and body, aiming for soft robots with more sensing functionalities with low computational cost.

This Special Issue solicits papers that cover recent developments, demonstrations, and applications for soft sensorized robots and the enabling sensing materials and technologies. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Soft sensorized robots
  • Proprioception and/or exteroception of soft robots
  • Soft tactile sensing
  • Soft physical and chemical sensors
  • Modeling of sensorized soft robots
  • System integration of soft sensors and actuators
  • Soft smart materials coupling sensing and actuation
  • Biomimetic soft sensing
  • Multimodal soft sensors
  • Sensing data interpretation
  • Flexible and stretchable electronics
  • 2D and 3D fabrication technologies of soft sensors

Dr. Lucia Beccai
Dr. Kathryn Daltorio
Dr. Barbara Mazzolai
Dr. Hongbo Wang
Guest Editors


  • soft robotics
  • soft sensors
  • tactile sensors
  • proprioception
  • robotics perception
  • stretchable sensors
  • multi-modal sensors
  • soft smart materials
  • closed-loop control

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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