Bioplastics to be used as Artificial Skin in Robots to make them More Realistic

Published By : 22 Jan 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Bioplastics are derived from renewable biomass sources such as vegetable oils and fats, corn starch, and microbiota. The global plastic packaging market has a huge opportunity to grow with the growing demand for bioplastics. Surging demand for plastics across the pharmaceutical packaging industry, along with growing preference towards flexible plastics has augmented the growth of the global plastic packaging market. In bioplastics, carbon is derived from renewable feedstock that may or may not be biodegradable. The European Bioplastics, a platform representing the interests of 70 member companies mentions that in the bioplastics industry throughout the European Union, a plastic material can be termed as a bioplastic if it is either biodegradable, or biobased, or both.

Some of the latest developments in bioplastics are expected to define its future applications and demand. Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology are developing bio-degradable smart materials for robots. So far, they have developed bioplastics manufactured from food waste. To make robots look realistic as well as environment-friendly, the researchers are using bioplastics to create robot skin. As bioplastics are non-toxic, the research team has claimed that robots made with bioplastics would be biodegradable. Smart materials such as bioplastics incorporated in robot skin with the help of nanotechnology will provide lifelike appearance to intelligent robots. Currently, silicone is used widely to make robot skin.

Regarding the creation of artificial skin with the help of bioplastics, researchers at the Stanford University have already developed skin-like sensors that can feel pressure similar to human skin. The ‘smart skin’ or ‘super skin’ can be utilized to manufacture advanced prosthetic limbs as well. Highly conductive carbon nanotubes enable the artificial skin to sense pressure and send electrical information back to a patient’s brain thereby increasing the movement of the prosthetic limb according to the patient’s need.

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