Tactile Sensor as Sensitive as Human Skin

One of the challenges of bio-inspired design is the microscopic scale at which biology works. A number of recent articles have described advances in nano-manufacturing.  Especially intriguing has been the relative ease at which this manufacturing has been accomplished, using techniques of self-assembly similar to how biology works.

Professor Ravi F. Saraf of the University of Nebraska has developed a thin-film tactile sensor that approaches the sensitivity of human skin.  The sensor is formed of alternating layers of gold and cadmium sulfite nanoparticles created through a 'dip and dry' method.  Pressure on the sensor creates an electrical current and also generates light. Although the sensor films have extremely high resolution and sensitivity, they currently cannot measure the direction of pressure.

Your rating: None