Artificial skin on today’s silicone sex dolls has come a long way, giving the user a smooth and pleasurable feeling. But as sex dolls move closer to sex robots — androids that provide a more truly “human” experience — the body’s largest organ, the skin, must become more and more realistic.

Robotics professor Takashi Maeno and his research team at Keio University have teamed up with cosmetics manufacturer Kao Corporation to develop artificial skin that studies show feels natural.

Previously, artificial skin inventors have been working on pressure-sensitive skin, which uses organic field-effect transistors. This was an evolution, but this new skin seems to have topped that.

The researchers report that 10 out of 12 people agree that it feels like regular human skin. To take the subjectivity out of the surveys, they also used machines to confirm that the characteristics of the artificial skin were similar to the skin of organic, natural humans.

The real human skin feeling is attained by an outer 1-cm thick elastic silicone “dermis” with a 0.2-mm thick firm urethane “epidermis.” Then, to give it texture, tiny hexagonal indentations are etched into the urethane epidermis.

The report suggests a projected medical application would be covering robotic hands used in remote-teleoperated breast exams. However, we at see an application of human hands touching the robotic skin breasts. 🙂

Via: (link to article broken)

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