Soft robotics is a subfield of robots that deals with constructing robots from soft, elastic materials similar to those found in living organisms. These robots offer a particular set of advantages compared with conventional rigid robots. For example, in medicine they can be used in drug delivery and non-invasive surgical procedures, and be employed as assistive devices, prostheses or artificial organs. The field takes great inspiration from the way living organisms move and adapt to their surroundings, and the flexibility and adaptability of soft robots make them invaluable tools. Dr Jun Ogawa is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Organic Materials at Yamagata University, Japan. His key research interests are soft matter robotics and embodied artificial intelligence (AI).