Experts at the University of Tokyo have built a self-healing robotic finger clothed in artificial skin, a crucial step toward making robots more human-like. Tissue culture and robotics were combined to develop the robotic finger, which is made out of live skin tissue and facilitates organic material growth for the best possible sizing and sturdiness. A “soft touch” from robots controlled by artificial intelligence might be used in a variety of settings, according to the inventors.
In a press release, the scientists also said that they are planning to include different types of cells into future versions, allowing machines to detect as people do in the future.
Shoji Takeuchi, a pioneer in the field of biohybrid robots at the University of Tokyo, noted that the skin was grown directly on the robot’s internal components as an example of this. An artificial skin made out of hydrogel was used to cover this robot’s finger. Hydrogel is a protein-rich collagen matrix that supports the development of fibroblasts and keratinocytes, two types of live skin cells. Experts added that developing skin directly on the component would guarantee a flawless fit and minimize worries about incorrect forms and limited mobility.
Skin models are intricate three-dimensional structures that develop on the finger in situ. One of the advantages of using our technology is that it covers the whole device rather than just a portion of the surface and is more securely attached.
Researchers pool knowledge of robots and tissue culturing to create a robotic finger covered with living skin tissue. The skin is soft and can heal itself, so could be useful in applications that require a gentle touch but also robustness. #UTokyoResearch https://t.co/pc1Tpm2OoJ pic.twitter.com/SqGYewngCd
— UTokyo | 東京大学 (@UTokyo_News_en) June 10, 2022
Skin also has a natural ability to mend itself, which may be immensely useful in fields requiring repair as well as human dexterity and touch. According to the professor,
This study, which was published in the journal Matter, was primarily aimed at opening up new possibilities in sophisticated manufacturing sectors and advancing the automation of activities that can only be accomplished by highly trained personnel, according to Takeuchi.
Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.