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Electronic skin lets machines sense water droplets and heartbeats, wonder why they were programmed to feel

Brian Heater

A team of researchers at South Korea's Seoul National University have been busy developing biologically-inspired electronic skin that is capable of "feeling" subtle stimulus such as bouncing water droplets and human heartbeats. The skin's surface is covered in two interlocked arrays of 50-nanometre-wide polymeric nanofibres that act like hairs on the surface of the skin, coming in contact with one another under the strain of external force. That contact then generates a current to help the skin gauge the changes in pressure, according to New Scientist. The creators of the flexible skin say that sensor response can be repeated up to 10,000 cycles, displaying their output on a computer in real-time.

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