This ‘robotic skin’ can bring your stuffed toys to life

When designing tools for use in space, versatility is important. Each pound of material you bring with you is going to cost extra, so having one tool that can do multiple jobs is handy. Plus: it’s space! You never know what situations you’re going to come across. These demands inspired Yale roboticist Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio and her team to develop what is basically robotic skin — a flexible material that can animate any inanimate object.

The material’s proper name is OmniSkin, and...

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