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The following topics are discussed: systems approach for independence; cost/benefit ratio; mechatronics; mobility; sensors; soft robots. It is concluded that, if rehabilitation robotics is to compete more effectively with humans, monkeys, and dogs for a role in providing care and increased independence, “softness”, in all senses, may be an important factor. The role of human hands is not only one of gripping, but also one of communication. A handsome hand capable of caressing is so much easier to relate with than a gripper limited to barely controlled punching and squeezing!