What is Robot?
The Robot is a Human lookalike Machine, which is designed by humans to execute one or more tasks simultaneously with good speed and proper precision. Robots that resemble humans are known as ‘Androids’.
Not all robots are made to do human work. There are various types of workers who perform tasks in various different industries. They are very much capable of doing any type of defined task. Robots are mainly used in industries to speed up the work progress and minimize time requirement.
While the scientists are taking very much interest in inventing a human like a robot. They took many steps in creating a robot who is capable of making self-decisions as well as many human tasks. But now, the scientists are very much keen on making a robot who can have senses as well i.e. skin senses like humans. And a researcher’s team from the University of Huston have attained their feet in this as well, by inventing a stretchable electronics, which works like an ‘Artificial Skin’. This Artificial Skin allows a robot to sense differences between various things.
Artificial Skin for Robots to get a sense
Artificial Skin made by the group of researcher team at the University of Huston is a stretchable electronics. It works as an Artificial Skin and helps the robotic machine to sense the difference between Hot and Cold and many other senses as well.
The researcher claims the work as the first semiconductor in rubber composite form which allows stretchability without any special mechanical structure. The rubber semiconductor is designed with the material which retains the elasticity and allows the material to be stretched by 50%.
The skin was also able to receive the computer signals to the hand and interpret it and reproduce the signals as American Sign Language.
The stretchable semiconductor was made by researchers using a Silicon based Polymer called ‘Polydimethylsiloxane’ (PDMS) and tiny nanowires to make a solution, which gets harden over the material and uses the nanowires to transport electricity. These nanowires are 1000 times thinner than human hairs. The solution gets harden or dried up at 60 degree Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).
The researchers used this skinny strip over the hand of the robot’s finger. This electronic skin works as a sensor which produced different electric signals when the finger bends. These nanowires are coated with a protective layer which makes these nanowires resistant to chemicals, extreme temperature, moisture, and shock, so these artificial skins can be useful in the harsh environment. Researchers also experiment over the hot and cold water, and the artificial skin responds very well against the temperature.
The Artificial skin looks like a sheet of plastic with patches of sensors. These nanowires are so small that no one can see it with the naked eye. They can only be seen under a microscope.
The researcher’s team tried the strategy with some advantages for Simple Fabrication, Scalable Manufacturing, High-density Integration, large strain tolerance, and low cost.
The researcher’s team said the Artificial Skin was just a single application. They said the discovered material is soft, stretchable, bendable and twistable. It will definitely impact the future development in soft wearable electronics, including health monitors, medical implants, surgical gloves, and human-machine interfaces.