January 24, 2019

Researchers have made a robotic skin that can heal itself

12 February 2018, 05:12 | Regina Holmes

The future is now

The future is now

The material is a thin film made up of several compounds and polymers like polyimine, which have all been laced with silver nanoparticles to give it better strength, stability, and conductivity. Here, future robots would be capable of feeling with the E-skin like humans do with the organic skin. The technology mimics the functions and mechanical properties of human skin, capable of measuring pressure, temperature, and vibration.

Scientists at the University Of Colorado Boulder in the U.S. have managed to create a new material that is capable of healing itself when it is damaged and can even be recycled to make a new 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".

And interestingly, the electronic skin is completely recyclable, or at least it's created to be once it's complete.

A few sorts and sizes of wearable e-skins are at show being delivered in labs around the globe as analysts distinguished their utilities generally going from mechanical autonomy and prosthetic improvement to better biomedical kinds of gear.

"Given the millions of tons of electronic waste generated worldwide every year, the recyclability of our e-skin makes good economic and environmental sense".

"Let's say you wanted a robot to take care of a baby", said Wei Zhang, chemistry and biochemistry Associate Professor at CU Boulder.

"When the baby is sick, the robot can just use a finger to touch the surface", Xiao said.

As mentioned earlier, the e-skin and embedded sensors can be healed in the event of a cut, with the help of terephthalaldehyde, diethylenetriamine, tris (2-aminoethyl) amine and silver nanoparticles mixed in ethanol and the application of heat pressure.

To fix the e-skin after it has suffered mechanical damage, a rehealing agent consisting of three compounds in ethanol is applied with heat pressing.

Xiao stated, "The reused arrangement and nanoparticles would then be able to be utilized to make new, practical e-skin". According to Newsweek, he is dreaming of a future where people will simply soak any electronic device (including laptops, cellphones, tablets) in a solution which would dissolve the materials in order for them to be used again.

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