Photo: Pakutaso

Robot finger covered in living skin developed by University of Tokyo

By SoraNews24

The University of Tokyo was the location of a unique scientific breakthrough recently. A team led by Professor Shoji Takeuchi has successfully cover a robotic finger with living skin made by culturing human skin cells. 

It promises to be a marked improvement over the silicon that androids nowadays tend to use. In addition to never quite overcoming uncanny valley, silicon rubber is said to have issues with repairs and sensors.

Skin is also just the first step in combining organic matter with machines, and opens the door for incorporating nerves and sensory organs such as olfactory receptors which can detect scents. Another important addition will be some form of blood vessels that can nourish the skin, because at the moment it can only survive outside the cell culture for about an hour.

The skin is about 1.5 millimeters thick, consists of epidermis and dermis layers, and connects to the metal frame by a series of mushroom shaped fasteners. Since the skin is made of living cells, it has the potential to heal itself with the addition of a collagen sheet to the wounded area.

While these developments may also help skin transplants in humans, a major benefit is the creation of three-dimensional models that can be used to accurately test pharmaceuticals and cosmetics on instead of animals. This skin can also be used to cover prosthetic limbs to make them look more realistic.

And leave it to online comments to come up with other entertaining uses for robots with lifelike flesh.

“Are you sure that’s a finger they made?”

“The University of Tokyo has ushered in a new era of adult toys.”

“The U.S. makes fighting robots, but Japan makes robots to keep you company at night.”

“Do you guys want a Terminator?! Because this is how Terminators are made.”

“In all seriousness, I think this is a great step in regenerative medicine.”

“That would be a really expensive sex toy if it became one.”

“At the pace we’re moving, sexbots may become a thing in my lifetime!”

“If they start adding blood and hair and all that, I wonder if it will start to stink too.”

Source: YouTube/ANNnewsCH, Yurukuyaru

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Tokyo University research team develops world’s first hybrid robot with real working muscles

-- Daiso’s Silicone Moisturizing Mask hydrates your face the smart way

-- Japanese researchers learn how to grow hair follicles, and probably new hair

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Wow! Scary but very cool at the same time!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan should now build a Terminator.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wrong finger...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

AI finger. But can you pick your nose with it?.............asking for a!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The epidermis and dermis, per se, are the simplest components of 'skin' and there is nothing 'simple' about either of them. And the statement "Another important addition will be some form of blood vessels that can nourish the skin..." is ridiculously naive since there will also have to be the equivalent of a heart, lungs, blood, immune system, and all of the other associated cells and chemistry that keep tissue living and repairing itself. Yes, it's a first step, but it will be a long time before this baby can actually walk... It's greatest potential at the moment is as a matrix for helping to repair damaged skin but until it can grow the various strata that compose just the epidermis (stratem corneum for example), it will just be naked cells on a protein mesh. Still, it's a start but this short article suggests much more than can be delivered at this time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are you sure that’s a finger they made?”

“The University of Tokyo has ushered in a new era of adult toys.”

Is it necessary to dive into the gutter so quickly?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Peeping_TomJune 20  08:32 am JST

Japan should now build a Terminator.

Think about it. Your GF loses her hand due to an accident and gets a new bionic hand like this to replace what had to be amputated. Still, holding her hand wouldn't be quite the same because you wouldn't be feeling that soft warm feminine touch that makes romance and love so much fun.

> rdemersJune 20  10:45 am JST

Wrong finger...

That obscene gesture means nothing in Japan, or most of the world in general.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"That obscene gesture means nothing in Japan, or most of the world in general."

Apparently Chinese Top Guns find it useful when greeting Canadien spy plane pilots...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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