News & Projects


Accompanied by progress in the development of flexible electronic and mechatronic components, Soft (Material) Robotics has recently emerged as a new branch of robotics research that is seen as a possible solution to the problems of “safety”, “adaptability” and “flexibility”.

This approach is therefore subject to a paradigm shift that not only creates individual components such as sensors or printed circuit boards, but also almost complete mechatronic systems made of soft, flexible materials such as silicones. Such systems have the great advantage that their structures have a high degree of flexibility and adaptability due to the flexibility of the material. In direct contact with humans, these systems therefore exhibit a certain degree of “inherent safety”, which reduces the risk of injury in the interaction between humans and robots.

The immanent paradigm shift of soft robotics - away from hard and towards soft materials - holds considerable potential, but at the same time poses special challenges for developers: While previous generations of robot systems only differ from their predecessors in terms of evolutionary development, the emergence of soft robotics represents a revolution over all previous solutions.

The SPP 2100 “Soft Material Robotic Systems” has set itself the task of actively meeting the challenges of this paradigm shift and developing novel approaches for the development of soft robots. The main disciplines involved are engineering, computer science, materials science, natural sciences and biomechanics.

News & Projects


From March 11th to 13th, 2024, the priority programme SPP 2100 on Soft Material Robotics held its General Assembly at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) near Munich. The event was marked by a series of enlightening presentations and discussions that showcased the remarkable progress of our individual projects. We sincerely thank the DLR for hosting us and providing an excellent setting for our assembly.

Soft Robotics Team Embrace RoboSoft Competition 2024: A Showcase of Mobility and Manipulation Excellence

Get ready to witness innovation as the team from the DFG Priority Program 2100 gears up for the RoboSoft Conference 2024 in San Diego! With two self-designed prototypes, they're set to showcase the resilience and delicacy of soft robots in the Mobility and Manipulation Challenges. Stay tuned for updates on their journey and the groundbreaking strides they're making in the world of soft robotics.

Gender Equality through equal opportunities: Valeria Santillán Lesseur visits the SPP2100

In a bold stride towards inclusivity, a young female researcher from Mexico secures a prestigious internship sponsored by the DFG Priority Program 2100. Join Valeria Santillán Lesseur on her journey as she delves into the realm of soft robotics at Saarland University in Saarbrücken. Guided by the APS team, she spearheads a groundbreaking project on self-sensing control of dielectric elastomer-driven manipulators. With enthusiasm brimming, Valeria shares her anticipation: "I'm honored to contribute to such an innovative field!"


Recently, we successfully carried out our fourth General Assembly of the Priority Programme SPP2100 in the beautiful city of Dresden, Germany. The four days assembly with more than 45 researchers, including professors, postdocs, and PhD candidates from 13 institutes from all over Germany, exchanged information on their individual project results aiming to leverage soft material robotic systems. 

Calling applications for the Mercator fellow positions

The priority programme Soft Material Robotic Systems SPP2100 is seeking applicants for two Mercator Fellow positions for the years 2023 to 2024.

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