Synthetics startup Ras Labs is working with the International Space Station to test “smart materials” that contract like living tissue. These “electroactive” materials can expand, contract and conform to our limbs just like human muscles when a current moves through them – and they could be used to make robots move and feel more human to the touch.

Ras Labs CEO Eric Sandberg likens what the team is doing to re-creating Luke Skywalker’s arm in Star Wars episode 5. “That arm is somewhat the ultimate goal of prosthetics,” he said.

Read more about futuristic synthetic material here.