The proposed science to technology breakthrough is an adaptive skin of a few millimeter thickness, with unprecedented near-field sensing capabilities. The skin is based on the capability of metasurfaces to manipulate reactive fields.
Signal analysis is then expected to provide a translation from the near-field to far-field environments, with near-field awareness down to 1 centimeter accuracy. Full coverage with a smart skin will produce a sensing “aura” around the robot or body.
Meta-skin on a robot (left), with radiating and electronic layers (middle) and integration layout (right).