Public Release: 

Soft robotic grippers non-destructively manipulate deep sea coral reef organisms

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, Jan. 27, 2016--The first use of soft robotics in the deep sea describes the non-destructive interaction and sampling of fragile organisms in their natural environments. The design and grasping capabilities of these innovative soft robotic grippers and their successful use at deep sea depths are described in an article in Soft Robotics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free for download on the Soft Robotics website until Feb. 27, 2016.

In "Soft Robotic Grippers for Biological Sampling on Deep Reefs," Kevin Gallaway and colleagues, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Haifa University, Israel, City University of New York, and American Museum of Natural History, NY, examine the potential for applying soft robotic technology to explore deep sea coral reefs, where diverse organisms with unique genetic adaptations reside. The researchers describe the ability to use compliant materials matched to natural environments to construct the robot's gripper arms, enabling the robot to interact with the soft, fragile organisms without harming or altering them.

"This paper is a milestone for soft robotic manipulation because it is one of the first to show the advantages of this approach in a real world application," says Editor-in-Chief Barry A. Trimmer, PhD, who directs the Neuromechanics and Biomimetic Devices Laboratory at Tufts University (Medford, MA). "We know there is a lot more to do before soft robots are commonplace but this paper is certainly leading the way."

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About the Journal

Soft Robotics, a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, combines advances in biomedical engineering, biomechanics, mathematical modeling, biopolymer chemistry, computer science, and tissue engineering to present new approaches to the creation of robotic technology and devices that can undergo dramatic changes in shape and size in order to adapt to various environments. Led by Editor-in-Chief Barry A. Trimmer, PhD, and a distinguished team of Associate Editors, the Journal provides the latest research and developments on topics such as soft material creation, characterization, and modeling; flexible and degradable electronics; soft actuators and sensors; control and simulation of highly deformable structures; biomechanics and control of soft animals and tissues; biohybrid devices and living machines; and design and fabrication of conformable machines. Tables of content and a sample issue can be viewed on the Soft Robotics website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science, technology, and biomedical research, including 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing and Tissue Engineering. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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