Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Systematic Overview of Soft Actuators for Robotics

Version 1 : Received: 10 June 2018 / Approved: 12 June 2018 / Online: 12 June 2018 (08:12:22 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Boyraz, P.; Runge, G.; Raatz, A. An Overview of Novel Actuators for Soft Robotics. Actuators 2018, 7, 48. Boyraz, P.; Runge, G.; Raatz, A. An Overview of Novel Actuators for Soft Robotics. Actuators 2018, 7, 48.


In this systematic survey, an overview of non-conventional and soft-actuators is presented. The review is performed by using well-defined performance criteria with a direction to identify the exemplary applications in robotics. In addition to this, initial guidelines to measure the performance and applicability of soft actuators are provided. The meta-analysis is restricted to four main types of soft actuators: shape memory alloys (SMA), fluidic elastomer actuators (FEA), dielectric electro-activated polymers (DEAP) and shape morphing polymers (SMP). In exploring and comparing the capabilities of these actuators, the focus was on seven different aspects: compliance, topology, scalability-complexity, energy efficiency, operation range, performance and technological readiness level. The overview presented here provides a state-of-the-art summary of the advancements and can help researchers to select the most convenient soft actuators using the comprehensive comparison of the performance criteria.


soft-actuators; scalability; actuator performance; DEAP; SMP; SMA; FEA


Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

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