Japanese researchers have developed a flexible artificial skin that could give robots a humanlike sense of touch according to a report on the

BBC

.

Developed at the University of Tokyo, the team involved describe their work in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The team manufactured a type of "skin" capable of sensing pressure and another capable of sensing temperature.

These are supple enough to wrap around robot fingers and relatively cheap to make, the researchers have claimed.

Someya and his colleagues used electronic circuits as pressure sensors and semiconductors as temperature sensors. They embedded these sensors in a thin plastic film to create a net-like matrix.

The University of Tokyo scientists say their breakthrough has the potential to improve how robots will function in the real world.

Future artificial skins could incorporate sensors not only for pressure and temperature, but also for light, humidity, strain or sound, they add.