Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ROBO SPACE
Japanese Researchers Eye e-Skin For Robots
by Miwa Suzuki
Tokyo, Japan (AFP) Aug 12, 2008


"As robots enter our everyday life, they need to have sensors everywhere on their bodies like humans," he told AFP. "Imagine they bump into babies. Robots need to feel temperatures, heat and pressure like we do to co-exist. Otherwise it would be dangerous," he said.

Japanese researchers say they have developed a rubber that is able to conduct electricity well, paving the way for robots with stretchable "e-skin" that can feel heat and pressure like humans.

The material is the first in the world to solve the problems faced by metals -- which are conductive but do not stretch -- and rubber, which hardly transmits electricity, according to the team at the University of Tokyo.

The new technology is flexible like ordinary rubber but boasts conductivity some 570 times as high as commercially available rubbers filled with carbon particles, said the team led by Takao Someya at the university's School of Engineering.

If used as wiring, the material can make elastic integrated circuits (ICs), which can be stretched to up to 1.7 times their original size and mounted on curved surfaces with no mechanical damage or major change in conductivity.

One application of the material would be artificial skin on robots, said Tsuyoshi Sekitani, a research associate in the team.

"As robots enter our everyday life, they need to have sensors everywhere on their bodies like humans," he told AFP.

"Imagine they bump into babies. Robots need to feel temperatures, heat and pressure like we do to co-exist. Otherwise it would be dangerous," he said.

The material itself can be stretched up to 2.3 times the original size but conductivity drops roughly by half at the maximum extension.

It can be stretched by 38 percent with no significant change in conductivity -- still a breakthrough considering that metal wires break on strains of one to two percent, the team said.

The material is made by grinding carbon nanotubes, or tube-shaped carbon molecules, with an ionic liquid and adding it to rubber.

Carbon nanotubes often bunch up together but the millimetre-long tubes coupled with the ionic liquid can be uniformly dispersed in rubber to realise both high conductivity and flexibility.

Sekitani said the new material could be used on the surface of steering wheels, which would analyse perspiration, body temperature and other data of the driver and judge whether he or she is fit enough to drive.

"It could be completely integrated into the normal driving system, making users unaware of using it," he said.

Or it could be used on top of a mattress for bed-ridden people, watching if some parts of the body were under constant pressure and tilting the bed to change the patient's posture to prevent bedsores, Sekitani said.

"Objects that come into contact with humans are often not square or flat. We believe interfaces between humans and electronics should be soft," he said.

The material could also give birth to a stretchable display, allowing people to take out a tiny sheet and stretch it to watch television.

The team aims to put the elastic conductor to practical use in several years, Sekitani said.

"We can't rule out the possibility of using this in living bodies but we're sticking to using it in electronics," Sekitani added.

.


Related Links
University of Tokyo
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ROBO SPACE
Robots may enhance disabled people's lives
Rochester, N.Y. (UPI) Aug 11, 2008
A U.S. study foresees robots as improving both the quality and flexibility of the lives of people with disabilities that affect the use of their limbs. The robotics engineering research, sponsored by The National Science Foundation, utilized physiological information -- called bio-signals -- produced by the human body to improve external assistive devices called orthoses that help ... read more


ROBO SPACE
A Flash Of Insight: LCROSS Mission Update

India Postpones First Lunar Mission Until Mid-October

NASA Awards Contracts For Concepts Of Lunar Surface Systems

NASA Lunar Science Institute Names First International Partner

ROBO SPACE
Preparation Begins For New European Space Mission To Mars

Chasing Dust Devils

Soil Studies Continue At Site Of Phoenix Mars Lander

Professor Plays Vital Role In Mars Water Breakthrough

ROBO SPACE
OSU Students Build And Launch A Sensor Into Space

NASA is given a thumbs-up in safety report

NASA To Realign Constellation Program Milestones

NASA Awards Space Radiobiology Research Grants

ROBO SPACE
China's Space Ambitions

Rocket For China's Manned Space Mission At Launch Center

China To Release 700 Hours Of Chang'e-1 Data

China Aims For World-Class Space Industry In Seven Years

ROBO SPACE
ISS Crew Inspired By Vision And Dreams Of Jules Verne

Space chiefs ponder ISS transport problem, post-2015 future

Space Station A Test-Bed For Future Space Exploration

Two Russian cosmonauts begin new space walk

ROBO SPACE
AFSPC Announces Commercial Space Launch Proposal

Soyuz glitch remains a mystery: NASA chief

Russian Launch Of Satellite On Converted Satan ICBM Postponed

Europe's Ariane rocket must develop or die: ex-CEO

ROBO SPACE
Universally Speaking, Earthlings Share A Nice Neighborhood

An Interstellar Mission Scenario

Computer Simulations Show How Special The Solar System Is

Twinkle, Twinkle Alien Ocean

ROBO SPACE
GMV Releases Hifly 6 Satellite Control System

New Metamaterials Bend Light Backwards

Researchers Analyze Material With Colossal Ionic Conductivity

Satgate Contracts Four Transponders At New SES ASTRA Orbital Position




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement