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Artificial Skin Can Never 'Feel' Like the Real Thing

by Tanya Thomas on October 12, 2009 at 10:07 AM
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 Artificial Skin Can Never 'Feel' Like the Real Thing

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.

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For 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.
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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.

Source: ANI
TAN
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