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Robotics Science

Stanford Scientists Show Stretchable Skin-Like Sensor 19

Posted by Soulskill
from the teaching-androids-to-feel dept.
SkinnyGuy writes with news of an invention out of Stanford that improves upon previous work: a transparent, stretchable, skin-like sensor that could have applications for prosthetic limbs and robotics. Quoting: "The sensor uses a transparent film of single-walled carbon nanotubes that act as tiny springs, enabling the sensor to accurately measure the force on it, whether it's being pulled like taffy or squeezed like a sponge. ... The sensors consist of two layers of the nanotube-coated silicone, oriented so that the coatings are face-to-face, with a layer of a more easily deformed type of silicone between them. The middle layer of silicone stores electrical charge, much like a battery. When pressure is exerted on the sensor, the middle layer of silicone compresses, which alters the amount of electrical charge it can store. That change is detected by the two films of carbon nanotubes, which act like the positive and negative terminals on a typical automobile or flashlight battery. The change sensed by the nanotube films is what enables the sensor to transmit what it is 'feeling.'"
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Stanford Scientists Show Stretchable Skin-Like Sensor

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  • But I'l think I'm going to hold off upgrading my natural skin until they can cram in 16^2 sensors per cm^2.

    (Yes, that's a very obscure reference but I just can't help myself.)
    • Not that obscure buddy. And if you keep going like that, you'll have a heart attack.
    • we get sensation receivers, the sensor goes in the porn actors penis

      • by Adriax (746043)

        Nothing really special about the raw sensory signals involved there, it's what it's wired through that makes it enjoyable. And once we can rewire neural signals like that, why bother with porn stars? Rewire your own scalp signals through there, redefine the term "headbanging".

  • Robot Overlords (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ravenshrike (808508) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:05PM (#37824822)

    I welcome the fact that our robot overlords will know exactly how hard they are crushing our limbs with any part of their chassis.

    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      I welcome the fact that our robot overlords will know exactly how hard they are crushing our limbs with any part of their chassis.

      Reminds me of that Asimov story where the robots knew exactly the pressure required to break human limbs. Ostensibly so that they don't break them; however, later the robots went awry and used their knowledge to apply the most efficient amount of pressure, without wasting energy. Skynet-scary.

  • E-Textile based. Build it yourself today!

    http://www.plusea.at/?p=2255 [plusea.at]

    We're only at the prototype stage, but if you don't have any nanotubes lying around, try this out instead!

    Ian
    http://embodiedai.com/ [embodiedai.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like they mean capacitor.
    Capacitors store charge across an insulator (silicon) between two conductors (carbon nano-tubes), batteries store chemical energy using an electrolyte and two dissimilar metals.

  • that's all I have to say.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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