I was recently demoing a robot at one of the RCTA meetings @ GDRS and one of the presenters was showing slides on their work using an artificial skin on the "feet" of legged robots to sense and distinguish terrain types. They had some interesting force graphs demonstrating that they could differentiate between sand, straw, and concrete ground with about an 80% success rate so far. So we're starting to explore applications for artificial skin to increase the situational awareness of robotic appendages to improve mobility. I'm sorry I do not have a link to any published work that I can provide at this time but I'm sure we'll see more papers on this in the next year or so.
Our industry is moving at such a fast pace these days it's hard to keep up with all the developments so I thought you might like to know someone is in fact working on it!