Scientists at the University of Tokyo have built a robotic finger, which in the world of robots isn't really that exciting, except that these crazy people grafted living human skin onto the finger and kept it alive. They say the feat brings us one step closer to truly human-like robots.
The finger can heal itself, it's slightly sweaty, and feels like normal skin.
Shoji Takeuchi, the professor at the University of Tokyo who led the project said,
"This work is just the first step toward creating robots covered with living skin…I think living skin is the ultimate solution to give robots the look and touch of living creatures since it is exactly the same material that covers animal bodies."
He added that such advances had the potential to "build a new relationship between humans and robots."
According to their research published in the journal Matter, the mechanical finger was submerged in a solution of collagen and human dermal fibroblasts, the building blocks of skin. Then these were coated in human epidermal keratinocytes.
Bending the finger back and forth caused natural wrinkles to develop on the knuckles.
They are also working on a skin-covered human face, and I'm imagining something like Engineered Arts's Ameca.
And then... I think we all know where we go from there:
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