Soft robots and grippers are nothing new. We have covered a bunch of them that can handle fragile items better in the past. Layershift has posted a video that shows what it takes to build a 3D printed soft robot tri gripper. It has an actuator, printed gear, and servo motor. Here is how it works:
The working principle is also quite simple, flexible fingers are connected to a slider with bridged “cables”, which is then driven by a servo using a rack and pinion.
This is simply a proof of concept but the goal is to develop highly complex actuators with multiple motors.