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Science Technology

Artificial Skin Sensitivity Rivals That of Human Skin 29

New submitter hebbosome writes "Researchers at Georgia Tech have provided a glimpse of a future full of highly-sensitive robots. Their nanoelectronic pressure sensors, comparable in sensitivity to human skin, are made out of new type of vertical transistor (abstract). 'In Wang’s nanowire transistors, the gate traditionally used in electronics is eliminated. Instead, the current flowing through the nanowires is controlled by the electrical charge generated when strain or force applied is to the transistors.' 'The arrays include more than 8,000 functioning piezotronic transistors, each of which can independently produce an electronic controlling signal when placed under mechanical strain.' They could immediately be used in human-machine interfaces for capturing electronic signatures, and, down the road, in robots and prosthetics."
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Artificial Skin Sensitivity Rivals That of Human Skin

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  • Soon... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I can have multiple remote wireless penises in every part of the world for added fun. Symantec products shall end up around my remote genitals at last.

  • Overwelming. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ostracus ( 1354233 ) on Saturday April 27, 2013 @07:11PM (#43570741) Journal

    I think the problem isn't having as many sensitive sensors as possible. It's integrating their output into a larger sensor framework.

  • Future? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Saturday April 27, 2013 @07:53PM (#43570947)

    They could immediately be used in human-machine interfaces for capturing electronic signatures, and, down the road, in robots and prosthetics.

    And further in the future, they could be used for the skin of AI-equipped Realdolls. I, for one, hope they add a cat-girl with pink hairs [] option! (Link potentially NSFW depending on your co-workers)

    • by lxs ( 131946 )

      (Link potentially NSFW depending on your co-workers)

      Here at the Trappist monastery we were all very disappointed with your post. With an introduction like that we were counting on at least one exposed nipple.

  • I'm glad this is being worked on so diligently. Artificial skin should be ready for prime time by the time I'm finally able to transfer my consciousness into an artificial body.
  • What is preventing us from wiring sensors like this into our existing neural pathways? Is it just a matter of the scale being too small? It just seems like, the human body is already full-wired for something like this.

    • Problem number one is that we're not merely electrical. Outside of the brain (and maybe spine?) all synapses (neuron junctions) require the transit of chemicals—neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and norepinephrine—to fire. Getting artificial skin to send sensory data in this way would be very tricky work, as these chemicals are released in very small quantities into very tiny enclosed cavities, and then re-absorbed so they can be reused.

      Two, even if this has superior pressure resolution, c
  • Androids.. once a real AI is ready to take the challenge, they will be able to use this technology to give it touch and feel senses. This will get interesting.. If we don't have true to life walking androids by 2050, even if only for the elite, I will be very surprised.
  • Let me see those sensors after a few rounds of hammer throwing - []

    In one day our fingers could lift an egg, lift a dog, throw a hammer and play basketball. We aren't that bad, really.

    The versatility is great and maybe these nanogadgets will be there someday too.

  • developing something that is as sensitive as the underside of my foot is probably not hard, esp. considering I run around barefoot quite some time. When it comes to parts where the nerves are very dense (like hands, you pervert, not what you thought) it might get tricky ;)

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