Textiles used as Skin for Soft Robots …

In 2020 it will be a 100 years ago that the word ‘robot’ was introduced. It was presented as the intelligent machine in the workplace that could be a threat to mankind. Their physical hardness and rigidity became proof of their being non-human. However, applications for robotics have diversified. They not only have entered the human body, but also conquered the workplace and the environment. Consequently, a need for robots being softer and more flexible has developed. CINET presents a few examples of this new development:

Researchers at the Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research in Dresden are presently working on an electronic skin. The skin is to have various functions, such as be bifunctional and capable of simultaneous tactile and touchless stimulation using a magnetic microelectromechanical (m-MEMS) system. The ability to distinguish between different types of stimuli offers new opportunities in areas such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Medicine. In a scientific magazine researchers at the University of Southern California indicated the potential for new developments in soft robotics and multi-sensory abstraction.

This scientific research shows that we are on the brink of a whole new field of machine intelligence with an equivalence to feelings and could offer a way to investigate consciousness, intelligence and the process of feeling. All thanks to textiles!