Ultrasensitive Tactile Sensors for Robots
Scientists at National Technology University (NTU) have invented a pressure sensor that can be ‘printed’ onto a flexible material such as paper or plastic film, and which are 100 times more sensitive than existing commercial sensors. A working prototype of the sensor has been integrated into a robotic hand that is capable of gripping delicate objects, such as an egg. These sensors can be printed onto large, flexible patches, which can then be used as a ‘skin’ on autonomous robots for real-time feedback and touch sensing. Robots covered in such skin can react to stimuli the same way that humans do, making them safer and more responsive when deployed in crowds. These sensors use organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) containing solid polymer electrolytes.