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Wed Sep 19, 2018, 09:25 PM

Electronic 'Skin' Creates Robots From Ordinary Objects

Developed for a NASA project, the soft sheets full of high-tech gear can turn almost anything into a versatile automaton.

- video at link -



When NASA put out a call for soft robotic technologies, Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio and her team at Yale University replied with something remarkable: robotic skins that can wrap around everyday objects, turning almost anything into a moving, grasping robot.

Described this week in Science Robotics, the skins are made of pliable elastic sheets with moving actuators and sensors on one side. They are designed to be reusable and modular, allowing them to be combined in a variety of ways to create different movements and uses, Kramer-Bottiglio explains via email.

In tests in the lab, Kramer-Bottiglio and her team wrapped the skin around the legs of a stuffed animal, and the toy horse lurched forward in an awkward gallop. A foam tube wrapped with a skin was able to inch forward like a worm. And a piece of skin connecting two pieces of cardboard could contract, turning the object into a rudimentary gripper.

I'm Delighted I Can Do That, Dave
In unpredictable environments like outer space, where unforeseen problems can arise, this diversity gives the skins a creative advantage over traditional robots that are only designed for a limited amount of activities. (Also see intimate pictures of Sophia, a remarkably human-like robot.)


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Reply Electronic 'Skin' Creates Robots From Ordinary Objects (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 2018 OP
lapfog_1 Sep 2018 #1
eppur_se_muova Sep 2018 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 09:32 PM

1. now couple the skin with AI so that these

ready made robots can learn how to do things all on their own... walk or inch worm or screw twist or slither or whatever sequence of actuator contractions / relaxations make them move.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 04:57 PM

2. This is *really* starting to sound like Rudy Rucker's Imipolex.

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