New ‘Electronic Skin’ Can Feel In Three Dimensions… Represents Major Breakthrough For Prosthetics!

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Prosthetic Limb by Matanya via Wiki Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The journal ACS Nano reports scientists have developed a stretchable “electronic skin” designed after our own, capable of detecting pressure and what direction it’s coming from.

This a potential breakthrough technology, especially as it pertains to robotics and prosthetics, because it is the first electronic skin to actually be able to “feel” in three dimensions.

Before this new electronic skin development, others were available that could detect pressure, monitor heart rate, read brain activity and perform other important functions, but none could tell the direction of the pressure.

The ability of this new electronic skin to determine the shape and texture of an object, in addition to how to hold it could prove to be revolutionary.

Hyunhyub Ko and colleagues utilized tiny domes that interlock and deform when poked or even when air is blown across them for the wearable artificial skin in order to successfully sense the location, intensity and direction of pokes, air flows and vibrations.

The scientists feel their findings have a wide array of applications across prosthetic limbs, robotic skins and rehabilitation devices.