Robotic Finger with Self-healing Capabilities!

 | Post date: 2022/07/11 | 
A team of scientists from the University of Tokyo has developed a skin-equivalent coating for robotic limbs, with the resulting tissue-engineered material boasting water-repellant and self-healing properties. The covering materials of humanoid robots have gone through transformations from stiff and heavy materials to soft and compliant materials to better mimic the appearance and function of human beings. In this study, they reported a biohybrid approach to generate robots covered with tissue-engineered skin. The skin coverage not only results in a human-like appearance but also enables self-healing functions. They demonstrated the seamless coverage of a three-joint robotic finger by culturing a single piece of skin tissue surrounding the robotic finger. Furthermore, inspired by the medical treatment of deeply burned skin using grafted hydrogels, they demonstrated wound repair of a dermis equivalent covering a robotic finger by culturing the wounded tissue grafted with a collagen sheet. Taken together, these findings showed the potential of a paradigm shift from traditional robotics to the new scheme of biohybrid robotics that leverage the advantages of both living materials and artificial materials.
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