Answer: A material that can turn ordinary objects into robots.
Yeah, not creepy at all.
Originally designed for NASA, the robotic skins developed by researchers at Yale University can be wrapped around everyday objects and programmed to do specific tasks. For example, when covering the legs of a stuffed horse the skins can make it walk.
The design is relatively simple, with actuators and sensors embedded within an elastic material. The idea is that they can be used to make a functional robot with whatever happens to be on hand, and they’re reusable, which is why the team thought they would be helpful for NASA. Instead of multiple robots designed to perform one task each, these skins could be sent into space and used to make one item perform multiple tasks.
The team demonstrates possible applications including a posture corrector in the video below.