1. Inspired by the cheetah, scientists have developed a new type of soft robot that can move over three times faster on solid surfaces or in the water. 2. The new soft robots are also capable of grabbing objects delicately -- or with sufficient strength to lift heavy objects. 3. Previous soft robots were crawlers, remaining in contact with the ground at all times, which limits their speed. 4. They said the fastest soft robots until now could move at speeds of up to 0.8 body lengths per second on flat, solid surfaces. The new class of soft robots are able to reach speeds of up to 2.7 body lengths per second. 5. These new robots are also capable of running up steep inclines, which can be challenging or impossible for soft robots that exert less force against the ground.