‘Sweaty’ self-healing robot finger looks like sex toy – you could catch real STI

When Arnold Schwarzenegger first ripped off his flesh to reveal a steely robot skeleton in Terminator, movie fans thanked their lucky stars it wasn't real.

However, all that could be about to change thanks to an astonishing new research project.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have successfully grown living human skin on a robot finger capable of healing itself.

The soft fleshy finger could be just the start of a new wave of robots which have human-like characteristics.

A scientist behind the study, Professor Shoji Takeuchi, said: "Our creation is not only soft like real skin but can repair itself if cut or damaged in some way."

He continued: "So we imagine it could be useful in industries where in situ repairability is important as are humanlike qualities, such as dexterity and a light touch."

The researchers grew skin on the finger by combining collagen with human skin cells to make a bottom layer of skin, then grew an epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) until the robot finger had a sleeve of living human skin.

The researchers even cut the finger with a knife and placed a collagen 'Band-Aid' over the wound. Within a week, the skin had healed over it.

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However, people have taken to Twitter to mock the invention.

"Finally, a sex robot that you can catch a real STD from," wrote @benrayfield.

"I heard it is a middle finger and it is very rude," said @YorgosHelios.

The researchers say that they want to cover more than a finger and start developing more advanced versions.

Professor Takeuchi said: "In the future, we will develop more advanced versions by reproducing some of the organs found in skin, such as sensory cells, hair follicles and sweat glands. Also, we would like to try to coat larger structures."

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