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NEWS HEADLINES: Japanese Scientists Create Smiling Robot Using ‘Living’ Skin – One America News Network

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(Credit: 2024 Takeuchi et al. )

OAN’s Abril Elfi
2:30 PM – Saturday, June 29, 2024

Japanese scientists used human cells to develop an equivalent to human skin that can be attached to robotic surfaces to recreate a realistic smile. 

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This week, University of Tokyo researchers released a video demonstrating the stretchable, gooey pink substance in an unsettling smile, along with their findings.

According to their study published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, they created a “robot covered with living skin” using a “skin-forming cell-laden gel.”.

Experts in biohybrid robots anticipate that advances in technology will eventually lead to the creation of androids that resemble humans in both appearance and functionality.

“We also hope this will help shed better light on wrinkle formations and the physiology of facial expressions” and help to develop transplant materials and cosmetics, the team led by professor Shoji Takeuchi said.

The new material may represent a change from conventional humanoid robots covered in silicone rubber skin that looks real but is incapable of sweating or healing itself.

“To endow robots with the self-healing capabilities inherent in biological skin” is the scientists’ stated objective, but they are still far from it.

In earlier research, they demonstrated how to repair a cut on lab-grown skin covering a robotic finger by grafting collagen onto it.

However, they stated that performing comparable repair tests on their robotic skin that smiles “is a future challenge.”.

They used a technique inspired by actual human skin ligaments to gelatinize the skin-like tissue and fix it inside the robot’s holes to create what they called a “natural smile” that moves fluidly.

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