Nature frequently serves as an inspiration for modern robotics innovations that emphasize secure human–machine interaction. However, the advantages of increased automation and digital technology integration conflict with the global environmental objectives. Accordingly, biodegradable soft robots have been proposed for a range of intelligent applications. Biodegradability provides soft robotics with an extraordinary functional advantage for operations involving intelligent shape transformation in response to external stimuli such as heat, pH, and light. Soft robot fabrication using conventional manufacturing techniques is inflexible, time‐consuming, and labor‐intensive. Recent advances in 3D and 4D printing of soft materials and multi‐materials have become the key to enabling the direct manufacture of soft robotics with complex designs and functions. This review comprises a detailed survey of 3D and 4D printing advances in biodegradable soft sensors and actuators (BSSA), which serve as the most prominent parts of each robotic system. In addition, a concise overview of biodegradable materials for the fabrication of 3D‐printed flexible devices with medical along with industrial applications is provided. A complete summary of current additive manufacturing techniques for BSSA is discussed in depth. Moreover, the concept of biodegradable 4D‐printed soft actuators and sensors and biohybrid soft robots is reviewed.
Bibliographical noteThis is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
FunderDr. Ali Zolfagharian is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award (project number DE240100960), which is scheduled to commence in 2024 and will be funded by the Australian Government. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors. Advanced Sustainable Systems published by Wiley-VCH GmbH
Open access publishing facilitated by Deakin University, as part of the Wiley - Deakin University agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians.
- sensors and actuators
- 4D printing