Photo credit: RMIT University
RMIT University researchers have developed electronic artificial skin capable of reacting to pain like real human skin, thus paving the way for improved prosthetics, smarter robots, non-invasive skin graft alternatives. and for training health professionals. Simply put, this electronic skin can electronically replicate how human skin senses pain by mimicking the body’s near-instant feedback response. It reacts to painful sensations near instantaneously, similar to how nerve signals travel to the brain. Read more for another picture and additional information.
Skin is a human body’s largest sensory organ equipped with complex features designed to send rapid-fire warning signals when anything hurts. This artificial skin reacts instantly when pressure, heat, or cold reach a painful threshold. It’s a critical step forward in the future development of the sophisticated feedback systems that we need to deliver truly human-like prosthetics and intelligent robotics.
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We’ve essentially created the first electronic somatosensors — replicating the key features of the body’s complex system of neurons, neural pathways and receptors that drive our perception of sensory stimuli. While some existing technologies have used electrical signals to mimic different levels of pain, these new devices can react to real mechanical pressure, temperature and pain, and deliver the right electronic response,” said PhD researcher Md Ataur Rahman.