Thanks to an invention called 'smart skin', future robots may be able to appreciate the soft fur of a cat, or the break of an ocean wave.
Smart skin uses brand-new technology: pressure-sensitive transistors called taxels. These taxels work because of a cool phenomenon called piezoelectricity that's where you create electrical charge in a material just by squeezing it. Smart skin contains thousands of these touch-sensitive taxels, and is almost as sensitive as human skin. Hooray for piezoelectricity!
But just think: as people increasingly accept bionic organs into their bodies, are robots becoming ever more like people?
This research was first published in the 25 April issue of the journal Science.