The engineers were inspired to create the skin based on their observations of how humans interact with other animal species, reading visual and haptic cues for information on the creature’s mental state.
“Robots could be thought of as one of those ‘other species’, not trying to copy what we do but interacting with us with their own language, tapping into our own instincts.”
The team engineered the robot’s stretchy skin to change texture when air is pumped into elastic cavities embedded under the surface of the material.
The expressive skin is made up of multiple sheets of these air pockets, allowing many textures to be generated in various patterns. To mimic animal behaviours, the engineers chose goosebumps and spikes for the prototype.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.