Researchers developed electronic skin self-healable, recyclable

Researchers developed electronic skin self-healable, recyclable

Researchers developed electronic skin self-healable, recyclable

Jianliang Xiao, a mechanical engineer at the University of Colorado Boulder and the leader of the study, said that e-skin could lead to safer interactions between humans and robots in the future.

The e-skin will have sensors capable of measuring airflow, pressure, humidity and temperature. According to the scientists, in the future, e-skin should help robots feel pressure and temperature, and also help the amputees themselves feel it.

This e-skin can heal itself when damaged, and when destroyed beyond fix, the material can be soaked in a solution that separates the silver nanoparticles, allowing it to be recycled back into a new e-skin.

Professor Jianliang said, "What is unique here is that the chemical bonding of polyimine we use allows the e-skin to be both self-healing and fully recyclable at room temperature".

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Imagine indeed. The team says further research will aim to improve the mechanical and electrical properties of the e-skin, optimising the flexibility, recyclability and self-healing for a range of different applications.

The e-skin is made out of thin, semi-transparent material.

The study regarding the advancement was published in the journal of Science Advances. The researchers do point to a slight reduction in sensing performance in a rehealed e-skin device compared to a fresh module though. "The idea is to try and mimic biological skin with e-skin that has desired functions".

Unlike other forms of e-skin, and unlike the Terminator, this isn't created to be worn by people, but it does have a number of potential uses in robotics and prosthetics.

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But for robots that physically interact with humans, e-skins are very important to provide sensing and feedback of touching, holding and monitoring.

That's right, folks: In the future, when they take care of our children and the elderly, robots may be wrapped in an electronic skin that imitates our own, ensuring that they don't accidentally kill your loved one with too much or too little force. When the skin is cut into two, the electronic skin self heals by recreating chemical bonds between two pieces.

An additional advantage of the novel CU Boulder e-skin is that it can be easily conformed to curved surfaces like human arms and robotic hands by giving medium heat and pressure to it in absence of introduction of surplus stresses. If it's damaged beyond fix, the e-skin can be soaked in a solution that separates out the silver nanoparticles and then be fully recycled into a new, usable e-skin.

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