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Image credit: RMIT University

Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human

Minus the screaming.
Jon Fingas,
September 5, 2020
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Electronic skin that senses pain
RMIT University

Electronic skins can already react to touch, but they’re not much good at reacting to the jabs and burns that cause pain. That’s a problem for prosthetics and robots that are supposed to have human-like responses. They may be more sensitive in the future, though. RMIT University researchers have an artificial skin (via ) that reacts to pain much like humans do. It would provide “near-instant” feedback if pressure and temperatures hit levels that would make someone yelp.

365体育备用The wearable prototype is made of stretchable, extremely thin electronics (oxides and biocompatible silicone) with pressure sensing, temperature-reactive coatings and brainlike memory cells. It’s subtle enough to communicate the difference between gently poking yourself with a pin versus a painful jab, researcher Md Ataur Rahman said. The design mimics the neurons, neural pathways and receptors that guide human senses.

The project is a long way from reaching practical products. The potential uses are clear, however. A prosthetic arm could better replicate the sensations of the real thing and keep people clear of danger. Robots could be less intimidating as they’d exhibit more human-like fragility. It could also be useful for non-invasive skin grafts where conventional methods aren’t effective. It won’t be surprising if any uses are selective, though. While pain is a helpful natural defense mechanism, there aren’t many people (or bots, for that matter) looking for it.

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Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human | Engadget Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human | Engadget Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human | Engadget Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human | Engadget Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human | Engadget Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human | Engadget Electronic skin reacts to pain like a human | Engadget