Researchers have launched a surprising innovation: a “robotic skin” that gives life to objects, especially toys, provided they are flexible. This technology, developed jointly with NASA, could be used in space in the future.
It is researchers at the prestigious Yale University who have developed a kind of ” robotic skin ” that manages to bring to life various objects, including toys. The research conducted in partnership with NASA, has resulted in a device with a multitude of sensors and small pneumatic cylinders.
A “robotic skin” that can move objects
The scientist Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio indicates that ” thanks to this technology, we can take everyday objects and transform them into robots very easily “. When you equip a toy with its different equipment, these are activated, which allows the toy to move.
The video shows a horse-shaped toy that can move forward, backward, straighten and even bend. And this robotic skin is multifunctional, with potential for development in different sectors.
An innovation that may have utility in the space field
The field of space is part of the potential uses of this robotic skin. Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio explains the reasons: ” The same skins used to make a robotic arm from a piece of foam could be re-used to create a flexible rover that can roll over rugged terrain on Mars .”
And to add that ” the initial idea of this project was to use the reusable aspect of the equipment to avoid sending into space several robots each with a function .” This would represent significant savings.
However, there is also another potential use: to use this robotic skin on clothing, which would detect the exact movements of people wearing these clothes. This could allow them to be alerted when they adopt a bad posture. However, work remains before the device can be used in real conditions.