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In this article, we gave an overview on the DLR activities related to two approaches for the realization of soft robotics: actively torque-controlled LWRs and VSA. On the basis of our experience with torque-controlled robots, we presented an analysis on expected advantages and also disadvantages of VSA actuators. Furthermore, two VSA joint designs motivated by this analysis were presented. Torque-controlled robots currently represent a technology mature enough for the market, but we believe that impressive research progress can be expected in the area of VSA-actuated robots in the next decade.
Date of Publication: September 2008