We take our ultra-sensitive, flexible skin (and its fingertip-tobrain response time) for granted – until we don’t have it.
By Olivia Koski
Now, two research efforts are leveraging electricity to bring artificial skin to prosthetic limbs: a Stanford lab has structured rubber to act as a capacitor; a grid of transistors detects pressure changes as slight as the weight of a f y. Scientists at Berkeley made “e-skin” from nanowire semiconductors applied to pressure-sensitive rubber. The next step for both teams? Make the skin inexpensive and pliable enough to cover a prosthetic hand.