Monday, April 19, 2010

Robots with skin enter our touchy-feely world

The skin is made up of triangular, flexible printed circuit boards which act as sensors, and it covers much of iCubMovie Camera's body. Each bendy triangle is 3 centimetres to a side and contains 12 capacitive copper contacts (pictured). A layer of silicone rubber acts as a spacer between those boards and an outer layer of Lycra that carries a metal contact above each copper contact. The Lycra layer and flexible circuits constitute the two sides of the skin's pressure-sensing capacitors.

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