“Robotic Skin” Can Turn Inanimate Objects into Robots

A new invention that can prove very helpful in the future

It might sound unreal or maybe even creepy, but rest assured, it’s not. A new invention, called “robotic skin” will transform inanimate objects into robots, making them coming to life in just a few seconds. Don’t worry, this is not your worst nightmare coming true, as you will have full control over the objects. Isn’t that cool? Researchers from Yale have developed this robotic skin and they posted a video about how it works on Wednesday. That’s when they also published their research in Science Robotics.

What is this “robotic skin”?

The newly created robotic skin is made of sheets of elastic that are implanted with pairs of sensors and actuators. In order to control the “skin” and direct it to contract, hold or release, the team has to use a controller. So this means that you can wrap the sheets around almost any object that is quite flexible, just like the researchers did with the stuffed horse in the video that they posted online, and you can then play with it to make the object move the way you want.

The practical use of the “skin”

As you can probably imagine, the purpose of this “robotic skin” is not to just have fun with it. The Yale researchers want to use this “skin” for some practical applications. For example, one good use of this technology would be to utilize it in a piece of clothing, like a shirt that would be designed to help the wearer ameliorate their posture. Even more than this, the tool could be used in space. After all, the researchers were developing this technology in partnership with NASA. It is believed that something like this could be extremely useful in deep space exploration, where we cannot always predict the environment.

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