Small: artificial skin is able to detect materials without contact with them
An international team of scientists has created an artificial skin that can detect objects without coming into contact with them. The study was published in the journal Small.
According to Yifan Wang from the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), it is important for a person to touch the material in order to have a certain idea about it. Scientists have been taught to create artificial skin that can detect objects without contact with them.
The material developed by specialists consists of two outer layers of conductive fabric coated with nickel. Between them is a conductor for electricity – a sponge soaked in ionic liquid. The two layers act as a capacitor that stores electrical energy. “The ions in the sponge enhance the performance of the capacitor, which effectively measures how much the distance between two layers of electrodes changes,” the study authors noted.
According to experts, in this way the skin can detect materials without contact. The sensitivity of the resulting device is 100 times greater than that of a conventional capacitor. During the tests, scientists were able to accurately determine the material of objects created from plastic, metal and leather. The study says that such artificial skin can be used to create robots.
In the summer of 2022, Japanese experts from the University of Tokyo said that they had sheathed the robot with artificial skin identical to human. The resulting skin has sufficient strength and elasticity for the movements of the robot’s limbs.