A touch too much? Artificial skin that is even more sensitive than human skin

Newswise — Researchers have developed an artificial skin that is even more sensitive than human skin in its ability to detect pressure applied by an object as well as its approach.

In research published in the journal Small, scientists used the dual-responsive artificial skin for a variety of applications, including manipulation of virtual game characters, navigation of electronic maps, and scrolling through electronic documents. Distinct signals could be detected by the artificial skin upon different approaching targets, making it feasible for touchless object identification.

The advance provides a proof-of-concept application for rendering a robot to classify materials including polymers, metals, and human skin in an entirely touchless mode. The researchers note that such artificial skin can be used in next-generation engineered electronics with potential in human-machine interfaces, artificial intelligence, prosthesis, and augmented reality.

“We created artificial skin with sensing capabilities superior to human skin. Unlike human skin that senses most information from touching actions, this artificial skin also obtains rich cognitive information encoded in touchless or approaching operations,” said corresponding author Yifan Wang, an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore. “The work could lead to next-generation robotic perception technologies superior to existing tactile sensors.”

URL upon publication: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smll.202206830

About the Journal
Micro and Nano: No Small Matter. Science at the nano- and microscale is currently receiving enormous worldwide interest. Small provides the very best forum for experimental and theoretical studies of fundamental and applied interdisciplinary research at these dimensions.

About Wiley
Wiley is one of the world’s largest publishers and a global leader in scientific research and career-connected education. Founded in 1807, Wiley enables discovery, empowers education, and shapes workforces. Through its industry-leading content, digital platforms, and knowledge networks, the company delivers on its timeless mission to unlock human potential. Visit us at Wiley.com. Follow us on Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

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