Researchers Design ‘Smart Skin’ for Robots

Published by , August 13, 2018 1:09 pm

(ZDNet) Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have patented a new artificial, “smart skin” that could help robots collect information about their surroundings by using millions of tiny fibers. The smart skin includes nanowire sensors made from zinc oxide (ZnO). They are much thinner than human hair (0.2 microns, while hair is around 40 microns), and when they brush against something, they can sense temperature changes and surface variations. These nanowires are covered in a protective coating that makes them resistant to chemicals, extreme temperatures, moisture, and shock.
In addition to robots, the smart skin could be applied to prosthetics in the future, to give them a sense of feeling. It could also be used to make “smart clothing” such as uniforms that can sense toxic chemicals or even identify a person based on a fingerprint.

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