Electronic skin could be a reality very soon. A team of researchers has made significant progress in this regard.
Healthcare technology has taken important steps in recent years. Digitization has allowed us to have multiple additional tools to know metrics about our well-being, as well as many tips and recommendations to feel better. Not to mention solutions that we have in our smartphone that resemble medical equipment! The best example of this is shown by the ability to detect heart attacks of the Apple Watch.
Despite this type of progress, it is striking to see how we have another series of physical solutions. What we would commonly know as hardware It is something related to the computational field, but today we want to show you how there are other types of solutions that are gaining special relevance. A good case may be directly related to what is known as electronic skin. Yes, we knew the term faux fur, but this goes way beyond that.
It is a new invoice technology that Its main objective is to imitate, as much as possible, the skin of the human being. Such is the level of copy that is intended to offer that enjoys its corresponding hair. In fact, this kind of synthetic weights are capable of reacting, for example, to changes in the outside temperature. Its applications, as you can imagine, can be unique.
Let us see, therefore, what are the main features of this new technology, why the proposal reached by a team of researchers can be different and, above all, to what extent we are faced with a solution capable of being applied in real life. Here are the keys to one of the projects with the most potential in the scientific field.
The electronic skin and its great potential in the future
A research team led by Oliver G. Schmidt, head of the Chair for Materials Systems for Nanoelectronics and Scientific Director of the Research Center for Materials, Architectures and Integration of Nanomembranes (MAIN) at Chemnitz University of Technology, has managed to develop a series of magnetic fields with the aim of improving the integration of the matrix component, that is, the skin. In this way, this new material is capable of differentiating the sense of touch and in what direction it occurs.
Interestingly, the production of this technology can be made through a 3D printing process, so a large number of units could be obtained with little effort. The copy of human touch may be the true differentiation of this technology in relation to any other previous solution, since it is what would allow a person to recover, for example, sensitivity in a punished area of their body.
In order to achieve the development of this proposal, the micro-origami solution has been carried out, a system that allows a large number of very small electronic components fit into an equally small space. In this way, the conjunction of the various elements is negligible, which facilitates integration in this kind of electronic skin sensitive to touch stimuli.
An investigation that stands out for going further in the synthetic leather sector
The incorporation of hair in the formula allows us to understand to what extent it is possible to obtain a response to stimuli. This is what makes this kind of electronic skin in an alternative to continue its development in the future. After all, its application has great potential in case of serious burns. It is also worth noting the interaction that occurs between a hair and the others that are around it.
This is what allows a chain movement of the surrounding hair, which seems to bring the synthetic material to life. It is a first step to understand how a potential regeneration of the skin could give rise to the incorporation of solutions of this class. After all, a much more efficient result would be achieved in terms of recovery.
We will have to wait a while to see if this type of project culminates in an implementation in humans. The bionics market is focused on metallic elements, but it is expected that, in the future, the use of this type of electronic skins could serve as a complement to give even more meaning to limb prostheses.
Related topics: Science