The rapid development of microtechnology in recent times has increased the necessity for the development of devices, which are able to perform mechanical work on the micro- and macroscale. Among all kinds of actuators, the ones based on stimuli-responsive hydrogels, which are three-dimensional polymer networks strongly imbibed with water, deserve particular attention. This paper aims to provide a brief overview of stimuli-responsive hydrogel actuators with respect to their sensitivity to different stimuli, different kinds of deformation, the possibilities of generating different types of movement, as well as their applications.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2014.07.002