Scientists Create Smiling Robotic Face Covered With Living Skin

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.

Developed by a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo and Harvard University’s School Of Engineering and Applied Sciences, this robotic face is covered with living skin cells. The researchers’ goal is to cover humanoids with skin to allow them to “emote and communicate in a more lifelike way,” and not just to freak me out. According to Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

As part of the study, the team developed perforation-type anchors similar to human ligaments to adhere the skin to the robotic surface, which can be pulled to make the skin move and the robot smile. Honestly, I’d be fine if I never saw that smile again. And if I could go back in time and never see it the first time, I’d certainly consider it.

But do we need robots covered with living skin? Would a realistic skin substitute not be sufficient? Just how important is it that humanoid robots are as lifelike as possible? Whatever happened to the robots that looked like giant metal trashcans? Those are the robots I like.

[via LaughingSquid]

Journalist at Technabob | Website | + posts

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.