Home Australia Japanese researchers create strange humanoid robot with a face made of living skin tissue

Japanese researchers create strange humanoid robot with a face made of living skin tissue

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Creepy: Experts made special holes in the robot's face, which helped a layer of skin take hold
  • The robot’s face is covered with skin grown from a sample of cells in the laboratory.
  • READ MORE: Watch a creepy humanoid robot imitate facial expressions

In science fiction films like Alien, humanoid robots are so realistic that it is almost impossible to distinguish them from a real person.

Now, Japanese scientists are on their way to creating real-life versions of these realistic machines.

Experts at the University of Tokyo have created a robotic face from lab-grown human skin.

A creepy video shows the strange pink creation attempting a cheesy smile.

According to scientists, robots with real skin not only have an “increasingly realistic appearance” but can also heal themselves if they are damaged.

Creepy: Experts made special holes in the robot’s face, which helped a layer of skin take hold

In science fiction movies like Alien, humanoid robots are so realistic that it's almost impossible to tell them apart from a real human, at least until you see their insides. In the photo, Ian Holm as Ash in 'Alien' (1979)

In science fiction movies like Alien, humanoid robots are so realistic that it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from a real human, at least until you see their insides. In the photo, Ian Holm as Ash in ‘Alien’ (1979)

The research has been led by Professor Shoji Takeuchi of the University of Tokyo and detailed in a new study in Cellular Reports Physical Sciences.

Professor Takeuchi’s lab has already created walking mini robots using biological muscle tissue, 3D-printed lab-grown meat, and engineered skin that can heal.

“We managed to replicate human appearance to a certain extent by creating a face with the same surface material and structure as humans,” said Professor Takeuchi.

The ‘engineered skin tissue’ is made by taking a sample of human skin cells and growing them in the lab, similar to how cultured meat is developed.

Study co-author Michio Kawai, from Harvard University, told MailOnline: ‘These human skin cells are mainly obtained from excess skin obtained during surgeries.

“Cultured skin has the same composition as human skin and is also used as graft material in people with burns or serious injuries.”

The designed skin tissue and the way it adheres to the complex underlying structure of the robot features were inspired by the skin ligaments of human tissues.

The designed skin tissue and the way it adheres to the complex underlying structure of the robot features were inspired by the skin ligaments of human tissues.

A creepy new video shows the strange pink creation attempting a cheesy smile. The silicone layer is pulled from the corners of the mouth using external mechanical actuators.

A creepy new video shows the strange pink creation attempting a cheesy smile. The silicone layer is pulled from the corners of the mouth using external mechanical actuators.

While engineering living skin from cell cultures has its own challenges, the trickiest part was getting the skin to adhere to a robotic face, made of acrylic resin.

Previous methods used mini anchors or hooks, but these limited the types of surfaces that could receive skin coverings and could cause damage during movement.

So instead, the team used a special collagen gel for adhesion and made special holes in the robot’s face, helping the lab-grown layer of skin take hold.

By carefully designing small perforations, leather can be applied to virtually any shape of surface, they say.

Although there is a long way to go until talking humanoids look like us, Professor Takeuchi and his colleagues believe that living skin can bring a variety of new abilities to robots.

There's still a long way to go before robots look like those in the Alien franchise, set primarily in the 21st and 24th centuries. In the photo, Lance Henriksen as Bishop in 'Aliens' (1986)

There’s still a long way to go before robots look like those in the Alien franchise, set primarily in the 21st and 24th centuries. In the photo, Lance Henriksen as Bishop in ‘Aliens’ (1986)

Robots with skin on their faces feature self-healing capabilities, built-in sensory capabilities, and an “increasingly realistic appearance.”

“This research introduces a method for adhering and actuating skin equivalents with perforated-type anchors, which could contribute to advances in biohybrid robotics,” they state in their article.

“Unlike other self-healing materials, which require heat or pressure to cause adhesion to cut surfaces, the skin equivalent can regenerate defects through cell proliferation without any trigger.”

The next challenge will be to create a variety of human-like expressions by integrating sophisticated, muscle-like actuators within the robot.

Meet ‘World’s First AI Child’: Chinese Scientists Develop Creepy Entity Called Tong Tong That Looks and Acts Like a Three-Year-Old

She may look and act like a little girl, but this creepy entity may be the next big thing in artificial intelligence (AI).

Tong Tong, which means “girl”, has been dubbed the world’s first artificially intelligent girl after it was revealed by scientists at the Beijing General Institute of Artificial Intelligence (BIGAI).

According to its creators, the child with AI can assign tasks to himself, learn autonomously and explore his environment.

And while it may sound like the plot of the sci-fi movie The Creator, Tong Tong engineers say AI can even experience emotions.

In a video, BIGAI says that Tong Tong “has her own joy, anger and sadness.”

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