yale scientists have developed a robotic skin that can be applied to inanimate objects seemingly bringing them to life. the elastic ‘skin’ sheets are embedded with a variety of sensors and actuators capable of animating the legs of a stuffed animal or causing a foam tube to flex.


scientists develop a robotic skin that brings life to inanimate toys

all images courtesy of yale



rather creating multiple robots technology like this could make it possible to use the same skin to add motion to a wide range of motionless items. prototypes created by the team include foam cylinders able to crawl on the ground and a robot gripper that can grasp and move objects. researchers have even created a shirt wearable that can help correct bad posture. the skin is affixed to an object using a series of zips or ties.


scientists develop a robotic skin that brings life to inanimate toys



we can take the skins and wrap them around one object to perform a task — locomotion, for example — and then take them off and put them on a different object to perform a different task, such as grasping and moving an object,rebecca kramer-bottiglio, lead researcher on the project, said in a statement.we can then take those same skins off that object and put them on a shirt to make an active wearable device.


scientists develop a robotic skin that brings life to inanimate toys



a paper describing the work, titled ‘omniskins: robotic skins that turn inanimate objects into multifunctional robots,’ was recently published in the journal science robotics. the lab now plans to examine the possibility of 3D printing these components.


scientists develop a robotic skin that brings life to inanimate toys

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