Scientists in Singapore have utilized their skills to develop artificial skin that recreates the sense of touch. The device is called ACES, an acronym for Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin. This huge scientific breakthrough is currently 1 square cm but consists of 100 small sensors.
As reported by Reuters, Researches at the University of Singapore hope that it will help people with prosthetic limbs detect objects, differentiate textures, and even feel temperature and pain. Right now it is able to register a bunch textures as well as read Braille with 90 percent accuracy.
Lead researcher Benjamin Tee said a “Star Wars” moment helped inspire the project. The moment was in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) lost his hand in a fight with Darth Vader (David Prowse / James Earl Jones). Towards the end of the film, Luke was given a prosthetic hand that seemed to function as well as a human hand.
“When you lose your sense of touch, you essentially become numb… and prosthetic users face that problem.”Benjamin Tee to Reuters
Tee also stated that it can process surfaces much quicker than humans. It is able to identify texture with a single touch, whereas humans need to feel more of the surface. In a test, it was able to determine that a stress ball was soft while a solid, plastic ball was hard.
“so by recreating an artificial version of the skin, for their prosthetic devices, they can hold a hold and feel the warmth and feel that it is soft, how hard are they holding the hand.”Benjamin Tee to Reuters
While this technology is still in its early stages, Tee stated that the medical community has taken an interest. Tee said his team also has patents for clear, self-repairing skin and material that emits light for wearable technology.
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