Researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s Reconfigurable Robotics Lab and the Laboratory for Soft Bioelectronic Interfaces walk by particulars of a form of second skin they’ve conceived as an improved haptic feedback system. It’s only 500 nanometers thick however provides the promise of having the ability to feel the sensation of virtual touch, with the skin imbued with tiny sensors that make you feel like you’re touching something that truly exists.
The paper’s lead author Harshal Sonor notes that the artificial skin, which for now is a prototype limited to be used over a finger, is comprised of silicone and electrodes and could eventually develop to be used over a larger area. “This is the primary time we’ve developed a completely soft artificial skin where each sensor and actuators are integrated,” Sonor says, per reports. “This provides us closed-loop control, which means we will accurately and reliably modulate the vibratory stimulation felt by the user. That is best for wearable applications, similar to for testing a patient’s proprioception in medical applications.”