British material-design company Peratech recently inked a deal with MIT to create pressure-sensitive, electronically responsive "skin" for robots. This means, of course, that sooner or later we'll have a terrifying robotic version of Buffalo Bill.
Peratech's signature product is a kind of sensitive metal-and-silicone material called quantum tunneling composite, or QTC. This technology lies at the intersection of "electronic" and "tactile": it responds to pressure, converting physical force into electric signal. It's already been used to create more sophisticated touchscreens, as well as an "off button" on electronic passports to stop them from broadcasting RFID tags all over the place.