Many food items, like peaches and tomatoes, cannot be manipulated by a conventional gripper without being damaged. Automating farms and food packaging plants will require a gripper designed to handle delicate materials.


"ABB is one of the leading corporate investors in the robotics space and we saw a critical need in markets such as food processing, agile manufacturing, and logistics for an adaptable soft gripping mechanism. Soft Robotics has delivered on a compelling solution - and frankly gone well past that – providing a robust system for intelligent materials handling and we have been pleased to see the company rapidly move from the Harvard university lab to being deployed in live manufacturing environments today. We are enormous fans of Carl, his team and where Soft Robotics is going."

Grant Allen, Managing Director and Head of Ventures, ABB Technology Ventures



Automation of manufacturing facilities has been limited to highly-structured tasks. As a result many industries still rely on hand assembly. What is needed is a gripper that excels at operating in unstructured environments.


"If we’re going to really tell the truth about Soft Robotics it’s the most exciting project I’ve worked on in my career. The soft robotic fingers are able to manage and handle foods like strawberries and other delicate foods without damage. Our big challenge in prepared foods has always been – we try to buy automation, but the lifecycle of any particular product is so short that typically the automation isn’t able to pay for itself… This Soft Robotics application is so versatile, it can be programmed to do one thing, and when it goes away, it can be reprogrammed to do another, and that’s the exciting part."

Alan Applonie, President, Taylor Farms Pacific



An e-commerce warehouse stores an ever increasing number of SKUs that are continuously changing. Automating these facilities will require a simple adaptive gripper capable of manipulating items with varying shapes, sizes, and weights.


"Soft Robotics' technology has enabled us to win new business in automating baked goods manufacturers around the globe. One of those customers, a leading global pizza retailer, had for years been trying to automate the manipulation and packaging of its fresh dough. A challenge for any integrator is finding a gripping solution that can handle the delicate and variable nature of a product like dough. Through our partnership with Soft Robotics, we were able to unlock new business with this customer, designing a customized robotic solution to automate this challenge at high speeds."

Alex Kuperman, President at ABI LTD