‘Smart Skin’ Research Helping Robots Feel the World Around Them

Published by , April 17, 2016 9:39 pm

(Briebart.com) Scientists are looking to improve synthetic smart skins that help make robotics more human-like with touch-sensitivity. Before now, scientists have produced touch and texture-sensitive artificial skin, electronic skin that “feels” in three dimensions. Smart skins had a direct correlation between sensitivity increase and energy consumption; higher resolution, or sensitivity, required a more complex system, which meant more electrodes. Furthermore, necessary power sources consisted of wired external batteries, which add bulk, increase cost, and restrict usage time.
Now, a group of Chinese scientists at the National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Micro/Nano Fabrication have reported success in developing a simpler, cheaper, and self-powered transparent smart skin that does not suffer sensitivity loss.
Professor Haixia Zhang at Peking University has created a more practical solution that creates electric charge through friction — or static electricity.

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