Japanese Scientists Create Self-Healing, Human-Like Skin for Robots

Japanese Scientists Create Self-Healing, Human-Like Skin for Robots

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have developed a robot face covered in lab-grown living skin, aiming to create cyborgs that can heal and feel. The living skin was cultivated in a laboratory and applied to a robot face, allowing it to perform expressions such as smiling. This development could significantly benefit robots in healthcare, service, and companion roles where human-like interactions are essential.

Similarly, Harvard University researchers have successfully attached living human skin cells to a robotic framework, enabling the robots to display emotions more effectively. The skin, a cultured mix of human cells grown in a collagen scaffold, has shown impressive strength and flexibility, maintaining a smiling expression for a month and forming realistic wrinkles. This advancement may also have applications in the cosmetics industry for testing skincare products.

In Tokyo, the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) has introduced a method to create lifelike, self-healing skin for robots. The approach involves using cultured skin cells and a new attachment technique with V-shaped hooks, which keep the skin adhered to the robot while allowing flexibility. This technology promises to enhance the durability and functionality of robots working closely with humans.

Professor Shoji Takeuchi from the University of Tokyo, a leader in biohybrid robotics, has also developed a technique for binding engineered skin tissue to humanoid robots using special perforations. Published in Cell Reports Physical Science, this research could be beneficial for training plastic surgeons and in the cosmetics industry. The breakthrough could provide robots with enhanced mobility, self-healing capabilities, embedded sensing, and improved interactive functions.

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