Global Soft Robotics Materials Technology Research Report 2022: Smart Materials Gain Prominence in Manufacturing Soft Robotic Components and Parts

Dublin, Dec. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Global Materials Technologies for Soft Robotics, Growth Opportunities" report has been added to's offering.

This study explores emerging and futuristic soft robotics materials that can be incorporated into robotics.

The research captures various technical aspects, end applications, technology trends and opportunities, and dynamics in the industry stakeholder ecosystem. It also explores the top materials and offers comparative benchmarking, including factors that render the superiority of these materials. The report delivers a deep dive into the intellectual property and financing backdrop for soft robotics materials.

Robotics firms continue to forge partnerships and collaborations to design new soft robotics components. Mergers and acquisitions, specifically special purpose acquisitions (SPACs), have sparked the development of innovative soft material solutions. Factors such as the expanding aging population, need for better automation solutions, the growing impact of additive manufacturing, and emerging application opportunities are accelerating the soft robotics materials technology landscape.

To promote safe interactions between humans and robots, the discipline of soft robotics incorporates low modulus yet highly dexterous materials into robotic systems. Easily deformable materials like polymers, elastomers, alloys, biohybrids, and nanostructures in the form of fluids, gels, soft electronics, and wearables (with elastic and rheological qualities similar to biological tissue and organs) make up most soft robots. The new class of elastically flexible, adaptable, and biologically inspired materials for robots has the potential to transform their use in manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and a range of human support functions.

Industrial robots are fast and precise systems based on rigid-body mechanisms, which ensure high throughput in the production of manufactured goods. However, the emergence of Industry 4.0, need for better technical capabilities, rising workforce costs, and lack of sufficient talent have propelled end users to adopt robotics made of soft materials with new, bio-inspired features that permit morphologically adaptive interactions in unpredictable environments.

As these soft materials evolve, they will be integrated into various industry applications to conduct complex tasks via highly efficient actuators, grippers, modules, and sensors. Soft materials could also solve various robotics design challenges, especially to achieve a balance of precision, force exertion, degrees of freedom, and structural compliance.

One of the biggest issues in robotics is creating simple and secure interfaces between robotic devices and humans. Improving complexity and versatility in useful soft materials to mimic human muscles and tissues for adaptability and integration is pivotal.

Key questions this study explores:

  • Which materials are top-notch candidates for use in soft robotics?
  • How have the materials' developmental milestones emerged?
  • What are the regional technology and market trends in soft robotics materials development?
  • What is the state of the soft robotics materials value chain and who are the key decision-makers?
  • What are the main manufacturing routes to obtain soft materials for robotics?
  • What R&D and commercialization initiatives are underway to explore new soft materials and for which robotics parts or components?
  • What are the IP and funding scenarios for soft robotics materials?
  • What are the growth opportunities for technology developers in the soft robotics materials arena?

The analyst has identified key categories of soft robotics materials, segmented as follows:

  • Soft polymers (hydrogel, electroactive, ferroelectric, shape memory, self-healing, and other smart polymers)
  • Elastomers (silicones, PEDOT:PSS, PDMS, liquid crystal elastomers, and bioelastomers)
  • Alloys and metallic materials (shape memory alloys and liquid metals)
  • Biohybrids (bacterial, protists, tissues, biopolymers, and biomimetics)
  • Nanostructures (carbon nanotubes, graphene, buckyballs, and other nanocomposites)

Key Topics Covered:

1. Strategic Imperatives

  • The Strategic Imperative
  • Why Is It Increasingly Difficult to Grow?
  • The Impact of the Top 3 Strategic Imperatives on Materials for the Soft Robotics Industry
  • Growth Opportunities Fuel the Growth Pipeline Engine
  • Research Methodology

2. Growth Opportunity Analysis

  • Technology Dashboard
  • Research Scope and Segmentation
  • Research Scope and Segmentation and Questions the Study Answers
  • Growth Drivers
  • Growth Restraints

3. Industry Overview

  • Industry 4.0 Fuels the Developmental Pace of Automation Focused on Robotics
  • Progress in Soft Robotics Would Depend on the Advancement of Materials Amenable to AM
  • Increasing Use of Soft Tunable Materials with High Mechanical Strength to Fabricate Robots
  • Specific Industrial Requirements Set Advanced Material Demand to Construct Soft Robotics
  • Regulations Aim to Embed Machine Intelligence into Soft Actuators to Achieve High Performance
  • Milestones in Soft Robotics and Materials Development
  • Research Institutes and Material Providers Play a Main Role in Decision-making on the Design of Soft Robotics Parts
  • Academia and Providers Collaborate to Explore Innovative Robotics Soft Materials

4. Technology Analysis

  • Polymers Shape the Use of Advanced Materials in Soft Robotics by Imparting Unique Attributes
  • Elastomers Enhance the Flexibility and Stretchability of Robotic Components to Showcase Resilience
  • Among Metals and Alloys, Soft Robotic Manufacturers are Interested in SMAs Owing to Their Unique Characteristics
  • Nature-inspired Tissues and Micro-organisms See Use to Make Better Machines
  • Nanostructures Empower Soft Robotic Micromachines with Better Locomotion to Conduct Automated Tasks
  • The Type of Manufacturing Determines the Type of Material to Use
  • Various Manufacturing and Fabrication Methods Ensure Intelligent Soft Robots with Holistic Applications
  • Polymeric and Elastomeric Materials Lead the Soft Materials Bandwagon for Robotic Actuation across Industries

5. Innovation Ecosystem

  • R&D Activities in Polymers and Elastomers for Soft Robotics
  • R&D Activities in Alloys and Nanostructures for Soft Robotics
  • R&D Activities in Biohybrids and Artificial Tissues for Soft Robotics
  • Commercialized Innovations in Polymers and Elastomers
  • Commercialized Innovations in Alloys and Nanostructures
  • Robotics Firms Continue to Forge Partnerships and Collaborations to Design New Soft Robotic Components
  • Mergers and Acquisitions to Gain Technology Access

6. Intellectual Property Analysis

  • Polymers and Elastomers Dominate in Research Publications on Soft Robotics Materials
  • Alloys and Nanostructures Lead in Patent Filings for Soft Robotics Materials
  • USPTO and Chinese Patent Offices Lead IP Filings in the Last 3 Years
  • Soft Actuators Remain the Focus in Patent Filings

7. Funding and Investment Analysis

  • Investors Bet Big on Soft Robotics Materials, such as Dielectric Elastomers, to Reinforce Rapid Locomotion
  • Funding Initiatives in North America and Asia-Pacific Focus on Soft Robotic Component Development and New Materials, Respectively
  • Beneficiaries Prioritize Building Soft Materials that Conform to Robotics' Operational Requirements
  • Soft Robotics Financing Increases to Explore Softer Programmable Materials
  • VC and Grant Initiatives in Soft Robotics Materials Aim to Demonstrate and Commercialize Soft Materials in Robotics

8. Future Outlook

  • Cost Reduction and Material Performance Enhancement, the Key to Achieving Right Soft Material
  • Drive for Innovation and Presence of Competition Are Main Decision-Makers to Render a Material Useful in Soft Robotics
  • Research for Futuristic Concepts Increases to Meet Needs
  • Actuation and Gripping Lead Patenting and Financing Initiatives
  • Analyst Perspectives

9. Growth Opportunity Universe

  • Growth Opportunity 1: Ingestible Soft Robotics for Diagnostics and Treatments
  • Growth Opportunity 2: Switchable, Programmable, and Reconfigurable Robotics to Offer Versatility
  • Growth Opportunity 3: Biomimetic and Bioinspired Materials to Converge Nature with Industrial Automation
  • Growth Opportunity 4: Digital Technologies for Soft Robotics Manufacturing

10. Appendix

Companies Mentioned


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