Humanoid robots could soon look even more human thanks to a soft, stretchable skin. The skin is called hyper-elastic light-emitting capacitor. And not only can it feel pressure – giving Atlas a “sense” of touch – but it will give the military robot a chameleon-like ability to blend in with the environment, according the recent reports.
The skin is luminescent upon production. But it’s made up of incredibly thin rubber sheets arrayed with individually controllable pixels that enable it to alter its coloration in much the same way as some octopuses, according to the report.
Robert Shepherd, researcher of the project and assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell, said: “We can take these pixels that change color and put them on these robots, and now we have the ability to change their color.”
Science Journal - Highly stretchable electroluminescent skin for optical signaling and tactile sensing
The skins of some cephalopods, such as the octopus, are highly flexible and contain color-changing cells. These cells are loaded with pigments that enable rapid and detailed camouflaging abilities. Larson et al. developed a stretchable electroluminescent actuator. The material could be highly stretched, could emit light, and could also sense internal and external pressure. A soft robot demonstrated these combined capabilities by stretching and emitting light as it moved.
Cephalopods such as octopuses have a combination of a stretchable skin and color-tuning organs to control both posture and color for visual communication and disguise. We present an electroluminescent material that is capable of large uniaxial stretching and surface area changes while actively emitting light. Layers of transparent hydrogel electrodes sandwich a ZnS phosphor-doped dielectric elastomer layer, creating thin rubber sheets that change illuminance and capacitance under deformation. Arrays of individually controllable pixels in thin rubber sheets were fabricated using replica molding and were subjected to stretching, folding, and rolling to demonstrate their use as stretchable displays. These sheets were then integrated into the skin of a soft robot, providing it with dynamic coloration and sensory feedback from external and internal stimuli.
More human like robots have been made already but camo synthetic robot skin is more in line with the T-600 description
SOURCES- Youtube, Science mag, Defense Tech