PerspectiveProgrammed Materials

Helping robots blend into the background

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Science  13 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6360, pp. 169
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao5345

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When thinking of the impressive camouflage of animals like chameleons or cephalopods (for example, the octopus), what strikes us first is the color change. The second striking behavior is that such animals can change the texture of their skin and mimic the surrounding shapes, in addition to color changes. On page 210 of this issue, Pikul et al. (1) show how similar surface-texture effects can be obtained in a silicone-based skin for a soft robot with a technology to create three-dimensional textures.