Soft robots aren't just about speed and grace... they should be safer, too. To prove that point, MIT's CSAIL has developed bouncing robots whose 3D-printed soft skins act as shock absorbers. The technique revolves around printing a "programmable viscoelastic material" where every aspect of the skin (which includes solids, liquids and a rubber-like substance called TangoBlack+) is tuned to the right level of elasticity. The robot can give way where it needs to, but remain solid otherwise. As a result, it can bounce around without taking damage, and land four times more precisely than it would with an inflexible surface.