Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital researchers have developed a customizable soft robot that fits around a heart and helps it beat, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart failure.

A squeeze in the arm, a pat on the shoulder, or a slap in the face -- touch is an important part of the social interaction between people. Social touch, however, is a relatively unknown field when it comes to robots, even though robots operate with increasing frequency in society at large, rather than just in the controlled environment of a factory. Merel Jung is conducting research at the University of Twente CTIT research institute into social touch interaction with robots.