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Scientists Develop Artificial Skin Witn Sensitivity

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SEOUL – A group of South Korean scientists has developed an artificial skin
with sensitivity, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted the science ministry
as saying Tuesday, a development that could be a boon to a variety of robots
and products in numerous fields.

The team led by Kim Do-hwan at Soongsil University and Jung Hee-tae at
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) co-developed the
stretchable yet ultrasensitive artificial skin, the Ministry of Science, ICT and
Future Planning said.

It said scientists developed the artificial skin by examining the skin of
mammals.

The skin was inspired by the so-called “Piezo2” protein that is found inside
of Merkel cells on the top layer of the skin of animals, the ministry said.

Scientists copied the physiological tactile sensing mechanism of the
protein.

“This capability enables voice identification, health monitoring, daily
pressure measurements, and even measurements of a heavyweight beyond the
capabilities of human skin,” the researchers said in a paper.

The new artificial “ionic mechanotransducer skin” has unprecedented
sensitivity over a wide spectrum of pressures, which can lead to a breakthrough
in the soft robotics sector, officials said.

Soft robotics is a sub-field of robotics that deals with nonrigid robots
constructed with soft and deformable materials like rubber and silicon.

“We expect this findings to be applied to various sectors including surgical
soft robotics and a health care system that desperately needs tactile interfaces
between humans, robots and the environment, as well as a variety of industrial
sectors such as search and rescue,” said Kim.

The research was funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning
and their findings were published in the latest edition of the journal “Advanced
Materials.”
–BERNAMA

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