Magnetic Supersense Could Inspire Ultrasensitive Prosthetic Limbs

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Robots that are capable of “feeling” their way around the world, thanks to hairy electronic skin, could be one step closer to reality, according to a new study.

Teensy electronic hairs, which sense minute vibrations through changes in their magnetic field, not only give robots a supersense of touch, but could also give people with prosthetic limbs a better feel for their surroundings, the researchers said.

“We are interested in integrating the sensor into robotic arms for people with disabilities to give them the capability to feel a complex environment and handle things more easily,” said study co-author Lifeng Hao, a researcher at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China.

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