Smart skin from recyclable materials may transform robotics

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New York, Feb 19 (IANS) Using only items found in a typical household, researchers have created multi-sensor artificial skin that is capable of sensing pressure, temperature, humidity, proximity, acidity (pH), and air flow.

Smart skin that can respond to external stimuli could have important applications in medicine and robotics, the study said.

“This is the first time a singular platform shows multi-sensory functionalities close to that of natural skin. Additionally they are being read or monitored simultaneously like our own skin,” said study senior author Muhammad Mustafa Hussain from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

The flexible, paper-based skin is layered onto a post-it note, with paper, aluminium foil, lint-free wipes, and pencil lines acting as sensing components.

Being made of recyclable materials, this paper skin presents a large number of sensory functions in a cheap and environmentally friendly way.

“A skin-type sensory platform made with recyclable materials only demonstrates the power of human imagination,” Hussain noted.

The findings appeared in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies.

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