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Boffins want to give robot's soft skin

by on27 February 2023

Helping to make them "fully functional" 

Boffins are developing electronic skin to create "soft robots" now have a level of physical self-awareness comparable to that of humans and other animals.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, could result in additional advancements in soft robotics by allowing objects to precisely detect their movements in the most delicate environments. The University of Hong Kong was also a participant in the study.

According to Nature Machine Intelligence which we get for the spot the electronic brain cell competition, soft robots with e-skin could be used for a variety of tasks, including prosthetic limbs, surgical equipment, and gadgets that investigate dangerous places while remaining highly flexible. We admit that the first thought that crossed our mind were robotic prostitutes but our minds have not been functioning properly for a while. 

Soft robots struggle to comprehend their own motion, shape, and interactions with their surroundings without e-skin. This creates a significant obstacle in the development of the sensory systems required for robots to perform precise jobs and interact securely with humans.

The research team is the first to create a solution that gives soft robots extremely precise, real-time sensing capabilities, reported Study Finds. A flexible e-skin that is only one millimetre thick and is made of a thin layer of silicone that is embedded with wires and sensitive detectors was developed by researchers.

Scientists were able to provide soft robots with the ability to quickly feel their motions and deformations with millimetre accuracy in three dimensions, in real-time, using the e-skin as well as artificial intelligence. The scientists put this e-skin to the test by attaching it to a flexible robot arm, and they discovered that the technology was capable of sensing a variety of intricate bending, stretching, and twisting movements throughout the device.

 Dr Yunjie Yang from Edinburgh’s School of Engineering in a university release said that perceptive senses endowed to robotic devices by this new technology are similar to those of people and animals. This new level of physical self-awareness represents a step change in the sensing capabilities of soft robots.

Study co-leader Dr Francesco Giorgio-Serchi, also of the School of Engineering added that this technology can help robots realise their own existence by making them perceive their shape and movements.

Last modified on 27 February 2023
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