A study shows robots can now be built with living human skin. It is a branch of robotics that combines science, engineering, and technology in order to create devices called robots that can do human-like tasks.
For as long as we can remember, robots have been a popular subject in popular culture. R2-D2 and Optimus Prime are included in this list. WALL-E.
Overly lifelike robot designs frequently appear like a parody of the actual thing… or are they more forward-thinking than we think? R2-D2-like machines aren’t too far off in the future as robots improve their mechanical and cerebral capacities.
One of the outcomes of the science of robotics is the development of programmable devices capable of assisting people or mimicking human behavior. In the beginning, robots were made to do repetitive tasks like making cars on an assembly line. Now, they can do a lot more, from fighting fires to cleaning houses to helping surgeons with very complicated procedures.
Each robot has a different level of autonomy, from bots that can only be controlled by a person to bots that can do everything on their own.
A study shows robots can now be built with living human skin
Scientists in Japan have come up with a way to coat a robotic finger without using cells from a person.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo are taking androids a significant step closer by creating live human skin on robots, which sounds like something out of Blade Runner or Ex Machina.
Also included water-resistant and self-healing properties in addition to the skin-like feel of a robotic finger. Shoji Takeuchi, the study’s primary author, noted that the finger seemed somewhat “sweaty” as it emerged from the cultural media.
Hearing the motor clicking in unison with a finger that appears just like a genuine one is fascinating, especially because the finger is powered by an electronic motor.
Humanoid robots that interact with people in the healthcare and service sectors must seem “real” in order to be taken seriously. When it comes to improving communication, Takeuchi believes that a human-like appearance might help.
He says that the current silicone skin for robots is not good enough when it comes to skin-specific abilities. He gives wrinkles and other sensitive textures as examples.
Due to the difficulty of conforming these materials to dynamic objects with irregular surfaces, previous efforts at creating living skin sheets for covering robots have similarly met with very limited success.
According to Takeuchi, the skin sheets must be trimmed and tailored by the hands of an expert craftsman. We came up with a way to mold skin tissue directly around a robotic finger so that skin cells could be applied to surfaces in a way that worked well.
The Tokyo team put the robotic finger in a solution of collagen and human dermal fibroblasts, which are the two main parts of connective tissues in skin.
When the collagen and fibroblast combination were applied to the finger, it shrank and molded to the shape of the fingertip.
Keratinocytes from the top layer of human skin stuck to the layer because it was coated evenly, like a paint primer. The top layer of skin is made up of 90% cells. This gives the robot a skin-like feel and a barrier that keeps moisture in, just like a human.
According to Takeuchi, the constructed skin was strong and elastic enough to withstand the robotic finger’s vigorous motions. In order to do specialized duties like handling electrostatically charged microscopic polystyrene foam, a common packing material, the outer layer was thick enough to be handled with tweezers and resisted water.
According to his claims, wounds could be treated like human wounds using a collagen bandage that transformed into the skin over time and could withstand repeated joint motions.
Takeuchi was astonished by how nicely the skin tissue adheres to the robot’s surface. This effort is just the beginning in order to create robots with live skin. “Without continual food supply and waste elimination, the produced skin is significantly weaker than the natural skin and can’t last long.“
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As a result, Takeuchi and his colleagues have decided to solve these concerns by inserting more advanced functional components under the skin, such as sensory neurons, hair follicles, nails, and sweat glands.
“I believe living skin is the ultimate way to give robots the appearance and touch of living beings since it is precisely the same substance that covers animal bodies,” he said. “
The Matter journal published the research.
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