Soft robotics is of growing interest in the robot community as well as in public media, and there is an increase in the quality and quantity of publications related to this topic. To formally elaborate this growth, we have used a bibliometric analysis to evaluate the publications in the field from 1990 to 2017 based on the Science Citation Index Expanded database. We present a detailed overview and discussion based on keywords, citation, h-index, year, journal, institution, country, author, and review articles. The results show that the United States takes the leading position in this research field, followed by China and Italy. Harvard University has the most publications, high average number of citations per publication and the highest h-index. IEEE Transactions on Robotics ranks first among the top 20 academic journals publishing articles related to this field, whereas Soft Robotics holds the top position in journals categorized with “ROBOTICS.” Actuator, fabrication, control, material, sensing, simulation, bionics, stiffness, modeling, power, motion, and application are the hot topics of soft robotics. Smart materials, bionics, morphological computation, and embodiment control are expected to contribute to this field in the future. Application and commercialization appear to be the initial driving force and final goal for soft robots.
Author(s): Guanjun Bao, Hui Fang, Lingfeng Chen, Yuehua Wan, Fang Xu, Qinghua Yang, and Libin Zhang
Organization(s): Zhejiang University of Technology
Source: Soft Robotics