The future is terrifying, and we’re already in it.
Okay, it’s not actually that bad. Researchers from around the world have been looking into improving skin transplants, and one of the cool ideas they’ve come up with is road-testing the stretchy stuff on robotic faces.
Right now, replacement skin cells are grown in tanks, so they don’t get the chance to adapt to movements like smiling, frowning or screaming in horror as your new boyfriend removes his face to reveal a gleaming metallic skull, glowing red eyes and unsettlingly well-brushed teeth.
So much like you have to warm up playdough before it gets any good at being moulded into interesting shapes, transplant patients have trouble with their new skin being stiff and unresponsive. That’s why scientists are talking about putting it on the face of a robot like Kenshiro first, so it gets used to being moved into facial expressions.
They’re also throwing around phrases like “self-repairing biohybrid humanoids” and talking about growing human skin/tendons/muscles on robotic hands and legs for the same reason… and not because the Terminator uprising is just around the corner.