This thinking skin could pave the way for more responsive prosthetics!
Imagine a skin that thinks and can imitate the human sense of touch! Professor Ravinder Dahiya, an Indian-origin scientist based in England, is working on just this.
Not just that. Professor Dahiya's project to create a robotic hand covered in this so-called thinking skin has won 1.5 million pounds in funding.
The concept is inspired by the real human skin. It is super-flexible and hypersensitive, and may one day be used to make more responsive prosthetics for amputees. It could also be used to build robots with a sense of touch.
Brainy skin is very essential for the autonomy of robots. It is also needed for a safe human-robot interaction to meet emerging needs of the society, like helping the elderly, believes Professor Dahiya.
The scientist has plans to develop ultra-flexible, synthetic Brainy Skin that thinks for itself. This will react like human skin, with its own neurons that respond immediately to touch rather than having to relay the whole message to the brain.
This electronic thinking skin is made from silicon-based printed neural transistors and graphene. Graphene is an ultra-thin form of carbon that is thin, but stronger than steel.
The research is called neuPRINTSKIN (Neuromorphic Printed Tactile Skin).