Touch your robot, and its new skin will light up

Reach out and touch something: The e-skin lights up only where it's pressed.

(Credit: Ali Javey and Chuan Wang/UC Berkeley)

Human-robot love and relationships are inevitable. After all, why put up with your flawed meatsack spouse when you could have a perfect artificial one? Thanks to scientists, your robo-lover’s skin will now light up when touched.

Boffins at the University of California at Berkeley have developed a very thin electronic skin, or e-skin, that’s basically a sensor network on flexible plastic that reacts to touch with light.

The more pressure is applied, the brighter the e-skin’s organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) will shine. It makes me feel all warm and E.T.-like.

“With the interactive e-skin, we have demonstrated an elegant system on plastic that can be wrapped around different objects to enable a new form of human-machine interfacing,” Ali Javey, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, said in a release.

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