Self-Healing Skin For Robots
This cool "electronic skin" from the boffins of Boulder can self-heal if it is cut simply by applying some pressure.
(Self-Healing Electronic Skin For Robots)
In a paper published today in the journal Science Advances, researchers detail the creation of an e-skin that encompasses sensors able to measure pressure, temperature, airflow and humidity. It’s built around a covalently bonded dynamic network polymer, known as polyimine, laced with silver nanoparticles to provide better conductivity and mechanical strength.
The use of polyimine allows the e-skin to be fully recyclable – something its creators note is important in the context of the millions of tonnes of electronic waste generated every year. The polymer can also self-heal if it’s cut by applying a slight amount of pressure. I’m told by co-author of the study Jianliang Xiao that this process usually takes less than half an hour at room temperature, but can be reduced at slightly higher temperatures.
“The e-skin can be applied to any place that requires sensation of the environment, such as prosthetics, smart textiles, space suits, and robotics,” Xiao explains. “It could also provide health monitoring to structures and human bodies.
This sort of biomimetic self-healing skin is just the thing for robots. It seems to me that I've heard of this idea before, in Terminator 2. In this scene, which I couldn't find online, Sarah Connor removes bullets from poor Ahrnold.
(Self-Healing Electronic Skin For Robots)
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