Liquid Metal Sensors Could Give Prosthetics Sense of Touch

The new technology distinguishes between ten different multi-textured surfaces with 99.2% accuracy.

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The human fingertip contains 3,000 touch receptors that help us perform precise tasks. When an amputee is fitted with a prosthetic, they lose that sense of touch and with it, the ability to fine-tune movements. According to a recent AZO Sensors article, a team of scientists at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science aims to remedy this with liquid metal sensors.

The researchers created stretchable tactile sensors enveloped in silicone-based elastomers that have higher conductivity, compliance, flexibility, and stretchability than traditional sensors. The prosthetics were tested on 10 surfaces with different textures, and operated at a 99.2% accuracy rate. The hope is that this new technology will help restore a sense of touch for better functionality with everyday tasks.

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