Published On: Sun, Sep 12th, 2010

Touch sensitive artificial electronic skins developed

Two independent US researcher groups have developed artificial skins which are highly sensitive lightest of touch.

According to Nature.com, “Both systems detect pressure changes of less than a kilopascal, the same as everyday pressures felt by our fingers when typing or picking up a pen. This sensitivity is better than previous systems, which detected pressures of tens of kilopascals or more, or only detected static pressures so that once an object was sat on the skin, the device could not sense that it was still there.”

The first group of researchers led by Zhenan Bao, a chemist at Stanford University, modified the physical structure of the elastomeric polymer PDMA  in a way to better enable it to be highly sensitive to touch and light pressure sensations.

The other type of artificial skin, according to the same article, “was developed by Ali Javey at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues. In a different approach, Javey used semiconductor nanowires pulled into the shape of a grid using a technique called contact printing. The grid was then laid out on a flexible pressure-sensitive rubber — a material that changes its electrical resistance under pressure”

The prototypes of both these artificial skins are extremely sensitive to the touch sensation. In the very near future this technology is sure to revolutinize the way prosthetic replacements are designed. For more details, visit this nice article on Nature.com.

Picture courtesy of Nature.com

Picture courtesy of Nature.com

 

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