Revolutionary E-skin Technology: Robots with stretchable and human like sensitivity

by Engineer's Planet



Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have created a new stretchy e-skin that effectively addresses a significant barrier in this rapidly developing field. The development of the first stretchable electronic skin could provide robots and other devices with human-like softness and touch sensitivity, creating new opportunities for the execution of jobs requiring a high degree of force control and precision.


This new type of e-skin technology does not lose sensor accuracy as the material stretches, unlike existing versions. It uses contact pressure to sense force and communicates that information to the attached machine. According to Nanshu Lu, a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the Cockrell School of Engineering, who oversaw the study, “e-skin has to stretch and bend to accommodate our movements, much like human skin does.”

After years of development and integration with stretchable materials, Lu and colleagues’ unique hybrid response pressure sensor, which combines capacitive and resistive responses, led to e-skin innovation. Lu believes that stretchable skin is a highly unique property that provides robots the same level of gentleness and softness as humans; this technology can be employed in medical services such as pulse examinations for patients, massage, and so on. This new e-skin technology has the potential to revolutionize the way robots and devices interact with humans and the world around them. 

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