LIVING Skin was made from mushrooms and a spooky model of the Terminator.
Scientists inspired by the 1984 sci-fi classic created the strange substance in an attempt to create biodegradable skin that would allow robots to sense things.
In an article titled “Fungal Skin for Robots,” the researchers describe their creation as “a biocybernetic entity.”
The study has yet to be peer-reviewed by a peer-reviewed journal, but can be found on Research Square’s website.
Mycelium technology, which uses the root structure of mushrooms, was used to produce the skin.
The researchers wrote: “This article examines an experimental endeavor in which living, self-regenerating and reactive Ganoderma sessile mycelium is successfully integrated into a model cyborg figure, creating a biocybernetic entity.”
“The mycelium, cultivated using established techniques, grew homogeneously on the surface of the cyborg model and showed robust reactivity to various stimuli such as light and touch.”
It is hoped that mycelium technology can be combined with the devices we have today to create sensitive robots that can detect things like light and touch.
There are already electronic sensors that can detect light, touch, humidity and temperature changes.
However, they are usually difficult to manufacture and are made from non-biodegradable materials such as silicone.
Researchers Antoni Gandia and Andrew Adamatzky say fungal skin is easier to make and better able to sense a wider range of things, according to New Scientist.
Gandia reportedly said: “There’s that scene in ‘Terminator’ where they implant the skin on the robot. The skin is external to him, but reports data to the robot and performs automatic repairs.”
“We wanted to show that we can do something like that.”
The Terminator model used in the experiment was only 18 cm tall.
It was covered with the fungus, which grew within a few days to form a skin.
The scientists then attached electrodes and proved that the fungus could respond to stimuli.
The researchers hope that their mushroom experiment could help develop futuristic sensors in the future.
This could even include buildings with a coating that can detect temperature and regulate it accordingly.