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Soft Actuators and  Robotic Devices for Rehabilitation and Assistance           
  • +6
  • Min Pan,
  • Chenggang Yuan,
  • Xianrong Liang,
  • Tianyun Dong,
  • Tao Liu,
  • Junhui Zhang,
  • Jun Zou,
  • Huayong Yang,
  • Chris Bowen
Min Pan
University of Bath

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Chenggang Yuan
Xianrong Liang
Tianyun Dong
Tao Liu
Junhui Zhang
Jun Zou
Huayong Yang
Chris Bowen


Soft actuators and robotic devices have been increasingly applied to the field of rehabilitation and assistance, where safe human and machine interaction is of particular importance. Compared with their widely used rigid counterparts, soft actuators and robotic devices can provide a range of significant advantages; these include safe interaction, a range of complex motions, ease of fabrication and resilience to a variety of environments. In recent decades, significant effort has been invested in the development of soft rehabilitation and assistive devices for improving a range of medical treatments and quality of life. This review provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art in soft actuators and robotic devices for rehabilitation and assistance, in particular systems that achieve actuation by pneumatic and hydraulic fluid-power, electrical motors, chemical reactions and soft active materials such as dielectric elastomers, shape memory alloys, magnetoactive elastomers, liquid crystal elastomers and piezoelectric materials. Current research on soft rehabilitation and assistive devices is in its infancy, and new device designs and control strategies for improved performance and safe human-machine interaction are identified as particularly untapped areas of research. Finally, insights into future research directions are outlined.
Corresponding author(s) Email:   [email protected][email protected]
19 Sep 2021Submitted to AISY Interactive Papers
20 Sep 2021Published in AISY Interactive Papers
Apr 2022Published in Advanced Intelligent Systems volume 4 issue 4 on pages 2100140. 10.1002/aisy.202100140