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Skin, it does a robot good


Hang on to your Jimmy hats kids, human skin for robots has just been created in a lab somewhere in Japan, of course. OK, it's not real skin, rather, a 1-cm thick film of elastic silicone covered by a 0.2-mm thick textured layer of firm urethane -- a dermis and epidermis, if you will -- which 10 out of 12 lonely robotics professors swear feels like the real deal. The artificial skin was developed primarily for cosmetics testing in a partnership 'tween Kao Corporation and a research team from Keio University led by Takashi Maeno. Yeah, right, cosmetics. With work already underway to make robots detect their owner's sweat and racing pulse, well, we think it's pretty clear where this is all going, eh?

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