A soft actuator is described, including: a rotation center having a center of mass; a plurality of bucklable, elastic structural components each comprising a wall defining an axis along its longest dimension, the wall connected to the rotation center in a way that the axis is offset from the center of mass in a predetermined direction; and a plurality of cells each disposed between two adjacent bucklable, elastic structural components and configured for connection with a fluid inflation or deflation source; wherein upon the deflation of the cell, the bucklable, elastic structural components are configured to buckle in the predetermined direction. A soft actuating device including a plurality of the soft actuators and methods of actuation using the soft actuator or soft actuating device disclosed herein are also described.
GOVERNMENT FUNDING CLAUSE
 This invention was made with support from the United States government under Grant No. DMR-0820484 awarded by the National Science Foundation, and Grant No. DE-SC0000989 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States government has certain rights to this invention.