Dr. Aaron Dollar of Yale's GRAB Lab was recently awarded the prestigious "MIT Tech Review 2010 Young Innovators Under 35" award, better known as TR35, for his work on building flexible robot hands through shape deposition manufacturing (SDM). The SDM process allows multiple materials to be integrated into a single mechanism, including soft finger pads, compliant joints, rigid members, sensors, and even tubes to run wires and cables. In fact, this is the same / similar process by which the Meka Robotics H2 Hand (eg. on Simon) is constructed. Anyway, this is a promising trend for robotics research; TR35 seems to consistently recognise the contributions of top roboticists, such as Andrea Thomaz (2009), Andrew Ng (2008), Robert Wood (2008), Josh Bongard (2007), etc. Congratulations Aaron!
I have no intention to fully examine the SDM process here (we tried that once before); instead, I'll point you to a few select papers and show some images to spark your curiosity.
Apparently this robot hand is a (as yet undocumented?) successor to Aaron's original SDM work and is featured in the TR35 profile:
A MIT Tech Review video highlighting Aaron's contributions can be found here.