Artificial Skin — for Robots

As robots become integrated with human activities and free humans from mundane tasks, it will be useful if robots seem more like us. Of course, that will require them to have skin that responds  to physical forces such as movement, especially speech movements and emotions.

While cutaneous biologists concentrate on  reproducing human skin with elegant biological systems (including 3-D printing), in the parallel universe of robotic research, artificial polymers have been used to recreate many of the physical properties of human skin. Respirator masks are being tested and refined on robotic heads covered with “Frubber“™ — an artificial patented rubber polymer with physical characteristics of human skin important for the respirator fitting.

This fascinating research is covered in a recent blog from the US Center for Disease Control / National Institute of Occupational Health  of the US Public Health Service.

A  video shows  a robot with  Frubber™ skin  talking.

 

Conflict of interest:
This author has no financial interest in artificial skin or robotics; his nephew is the first author of the blog from the CDC.

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