University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) scientists have developed electronic sensors modeled after whiskers from shape-memory polymers.
UT Dallas' Jonathan Reeder and Walter Voit say these e-whiskers are a significant step toward the creation of electronic human skin.
One type of e-whisker was cut out from a sheet of the polymer, which becomes flexible in response to heat; an elastic strain sensor was patterned on top of each whisker, and blowing hot air through the bottom of the cutouts made the material bendable.
Once the e-whiskers were built, disruptions triggered changes in the strain sensor, enabling accurate tracking of each e-whisker's position.
"Our e-whiskers were able to detect force, pressure, proximity, temperature, stiffness, and topography," Voit says. "As they brush up against—or whisk across—various materials, they mimic the sensing capabilities of human skin."
From UT Dallas News Center
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