Like it or not, the day is coming when we'll live side by side with humanoids. But although most modern robots can grip objects and avoid walls, they lack a vital quality in any companion: feeling. They don't need to get your jokes or sense that you had a bad day, but without all-over sensors that can detect things like motion and body heat, there's nothing to tell them that, for instance, they're stepping on the baby.
The same technology could be applied to such things as steering wheels to measure a driver's grip to detect drowsiness. It could also be used in electronics, creating simpler iPod controls or expanding computer screens. The fabric needs further development—Someya is still trying to figure out how to sustain softness and elasticity in the rubber without compromising conductivity—but he expects to work out the kinks and start incorporating his robot skin into humanoids within five years.
it't time to do excellent for future.......
robotic future is coming......
The material that they invented could be used for other things aside from making robotic skin....I imagine that it could be integrated with the HAL robotic suit and make a nice suit for space exploration or for the people that the HAL suit would benefit greatly from.
Imagine a robotic arm or leg in place of a real one, this would help that robotic limb in controlling of exerting too much pressure on something it is gripping thus making it sensitive to things being touched or handled - with just the right amount of "gripping" needed without damaging a thing by exerting too much force
For practical purposes it could be used as a sophisticated heat sensor as well, like when used in combination with a smoke detector, it could actually tell whether there's a fire (coz of the heat) or if its just plain smoke though I believe there are things such as heat sensors but this one is different in such a way that it stretches and is elastic making it better for such places where its uniqueness can be best be exploited upon.
Fantastic topic, I'd love to see more domestic robots, or at least showcase ones that are actually usefull.
I just wish they had given it a bigger article.