Magnetic Supersense Could Inspire Ultrasensitive Prosthetic Limbs

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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