What if each time someone or something touched your skin, it lit up like a rainbow or celestial light. Well, that won’t happen to humans any time soon, but it will happen to robots in the years to come. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are hard at work trying to design a super-thin skin that reacts to touch by emitting lights.
According to the University, the skin is made from sheets of plastic and is also thinner than a layer of paper. Furthermore, the electronic skin has a pressure sensitive rubber that allows the skin to tell when it’s being touched, and thus reacts to that touch by giving off lights in the color red, green, blue, or yellow. In addition, the University explains that the more pressure placed on the skin, the brighter the lights shine.
Berkeley scientists’ plan for this kind of technology is grand. They suggest it could find a home in robotics, smart wallpapers, health monitoring systems, or artificial skin for prosthetic limbs. Now, we’re not sure if someone with a prosthetic limb would want an artificial skin that shines bright with every touch, but for robotics, we could see this working out.
What the Berkeley scientists are working on is only the beginning and a sign of things to come. For a long time scientists dream of having a skin that can sense pressure along with having the ability to heal itself if damaged. This new technology could be the stepping-stone for such a reality, one where future robots would just simply heal after being damaged.
With the future looking to make robots an all-powerful being, the human race is slowly ending to the brink of extinction.
[via Nature.com, image via e-skin]