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Scientists replicate kitty whiskers to help robots 'feel'

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Cat whiskers are tremendously sensitive, so much so that cats can navigate around our glassware without sending anything crashing to the floor. It's that sort of sensitivity that a team from the University of California, Berkeley, is trying to replicate to help robots of the future. Ultra-sensitive fibers, made with carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles are designed to respond to pressure, helping future hardware navigate difficult and low-visibility environments. Team leader Ali Javey believes that the material is 10 times as sensitive as your smartphone display, and could even be used to track your heartbeat -- so maybe we'll be seeing this stuff getting woven together to make the next generation of connected onesies.

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