Ever wondered about your toys coming to life? Who are you kidding? Of course, you have. Now, it could be a reality. A recently developed robotic skin can help turn your stuffed toys into animated robots. The robotic skins, which have been developed by Yale University, have sensors and artificial muscles built into them, enabling them to add functionality to objects, which would normally be inanimate.
Explaining how the skins work, Yale roboticist Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio says, “We can take the skins and wrap them around one object to perform a task — locomotion, for example — and then take them off and put them on a different object to perform a different task, such as grasping and moving an object.”
According to researchers, the robotic skin will have several applications, especially on space missions, where heavier inventory can be costly. Hence, reconfiguring whatever objects available to perform various different tasks could come in handy in an inhospitable environment such as space, where you don’t know what you might have to deal with.
The robotic skin has already been tested on a stuffed toy horse, making it walk, and a foam tube, which was made to do a worm crawl. The skins can also be used to develop posture-correcting exoskeletons.