Artificial skin covering prosthetics and humanoid robots feels a lot different from the real deal, although it might resemble real skin to the 'T'.
John-John Cabibihan at the National University of Singapore and colleagues from Italy, Norway and France, have found that fake skin responds very differently to being touched.
AdvertisementFor the study, they subjected silicone or polyurethane fingertips to a series of physical tests to explore how they stretch, deform and spring back into shape when compared to real fingertips, reports New Scientist.
Their tests involved tapping the fingertip on a surface, and deforming it with a probe.
The results revealed that the two artificial materials, like real skin, can deform to closely match an outside force.
The difference is that much more force is needed to achieve the same effect.
In addition, the moment you probe artificial fingertips, they spring back into shape in a much more predictable manner than human skin does.
The researchers have said that for a truly human feel, designers of artificial skin should start using similar experiments to inform their choice of materials and fingertip design.