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

Promoting Gender Equality Through Internships within SPP 2100 projects

In a stride towards fostering gender equality within the SPP 2100 priority program, an exciting opportunity has emerged. We are delighted to announce an internship initiative within the diverse projects encompassed by the SPP 2100.

Student Internship for Women

This internship is specifically designed to provide young female undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds with a valuable opportunity to delve into the field of soft material robotics. It aims to offer them hands-on experience and the chance to work within a scientific environment, fostering their growth and expertise in the 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.

IROS 2022 FULL-DAY WORKSHOP: Soft Robots for Humanity

Organized by Jan Peters and Ditzia Susana García Morales, the full-day workshop Soft Robots for Humanity at this year's International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Kyoto was an exciting event that attracted many participants in-person and online. The workshop aimed to identify current applications for soft robotic systems and highlight the opportunities for soft robots shaping a symbiotic society and a better world of tomorrow.

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