Robot Skin for Future Collaborative Robots

An intelligent, versatile, protective skin for future collaborative robots in dynamic and varied environments allowing for organic and predictive interaction between human and machine.

Project Feed

Come see the action (on Tuesday 13th Feb)!

2nd February 2018

SIO are partaking in an exhibition on Tuesday 13th February from 18:00 to 20:00 at the new Dyson School of Design Engineering library at Imperial College London. We invite you all to come view our work and get involved at this exciting evening.

We are working hard to complete a functioning prototype to show at the exhibition for both our proximity and touch ideas. Additionally we will be able to discuss our ongoing work into 3D mapping the skin onto complex geometries and the intuitive interaction design of our robot skin.

On the left, you can see our latest prototype development into custom manufactured skin using a silicon mould. We hope to achieve close to homogenous electrical impedance response throughout the material.

Prototyping in full swing

26th January 2018

On the left you can see some test rigs to interface our mini LIDAR sensors. We have also decided to switch from Arduino to Raspberry Pi, mainly for improved processing power. Apart from proximity sensing, we are also working on touch sensing, visuals and interaction. Finally, we are developing software to map our skin onto complex surfaces.

This phase is characterised by getting lost in technical details. We are trying our best, however, not to lose focus on the end goal: Combining all our prototypes into a robotic skin that protects both human and itself, and allows for organic interaction.

The fun part is about to start!

19th January 2018

SIO is back from the Christmas break and the second phase of our Robot Skin project has been kicked off. In our first session we have set up our project management system which will guide us through the work. We have also defined minimal requirements / maximal goals and have created a detailed prototyping and action plan accordingly.

Physical builds (and the fun) are just about to start as well. Many components arrived already, and some sensors are expected to be delivered soon. Stay tuned, updates on prototypes are coming soon!

Innovation for the new economy

23rd November 2017

We want to provide our customers with more than just a product. Offering expertise in 3D mapping, manufacturing, and parametric design, we want to deliver optimised skin for curvatures on existing or new robots.

We aim to give robots an added sensation of touch and movement, something traditionally limited to their joints. The latter will allow humans to better teach, guide, and interact with robots in revolutionary ways.

Reaching out to Industry

13th November 2017

What do you think about the future of robotics? Where do you think robotics could go? Where do you think the limitation of robot-human interaction lies?

We are currently searching for industry partners to discuss topics around our project and human-robot interaction. Whether you're in the fields of material science, electrical engineering, or art installations; if these questions interests you, please reach out to us!

Go to contact

Interim Show

7th November 2017

Our first deliverable was presented at the Design Engineering Futures Event on the 7th of November at Imperial College London.

Eager to get relevant feedback on our envisioned concept, we made a simple prototype showing the basic design elements; a modular tessellation skeleton, inflatable impact bubbles for protection, and force sensors.

The prototype works is an initial starting point and we are now looking to iterate each element of the design separately with new technologies, to find innovative and feasible solutions.

Getting Started

23rd October 2017

The project has been kicked off with workshops and brainstorm sessions researching concepts around existing and new robot technologies.

We have looked to biomimicry, material science, high resolution sensing, and the latest innovations in the fields of human-robot interaction.

The ideation has shaped a list of initial design specifications. Our next step will be to implement these ideas into one holistic concept.

Project Introduction

10th October 2017

Welcome to the website following our 3rd year group project on robot skin for future collaborative robots.

We have been given the task to investigate, analyse and produce design engineering responses to the theme of technology and product service system futures.

This website will follow our design process over the next 4 months on our journey to create the robot skin of the future.



We are a team of five Design Engineers from Imperial College London, looking to revolutionise the way we interact with robots. If you have any questions or would like to get on board as an industry partner, please contact us.


The Team

Ina Roll Backe


Ina is highly skilled in design thinking and creative development. During the project, she will overlook the design process and prototyping of various concept designs. She will ensure that proof of principles for technologies validate their function in the skin. Additionally she will work on project management tasks alongside Shiv.

Shivam Bhatnagar

Shivam has a strong technical background in Computer Aided Engineering and advanced applied FEA skills through his recent undergraduate research project. He will oversee the CAD and mechanical validations of the prototypes and final build. He will be doing additional work in the field of user experience.

Ben Greenberg


Ben is the resident programmer and will be working primarily on any mechatronics logic and interfacing, as well as programming digital behaviour for the skin from a UX perspective. He will also be aiding with project management and the aesthetic design of the robotic skin.

Paolo Rüegg


Paolo has strong experience with mechatronics and will apply this in signal processing and implementing sensors into materials. He and Norbert will take the lead on physical prototyping of different sensors, actuators, and final concept implementation.

Norbert Wesely

Norbert has a lot of past experience with prototyping and manufacturing technical parts. He will be taking the lead with material and technology selection, manufacturing the final concept using 3D printing or other bespoke skills, and validating the final design for its future setting.