May 12, 2017 01:58 AM EDT
Experiment on bionic materials has been one of the recent trends of innovation throughout the world of science. This innovation knack has now been stretched to its next level by the newest invention of an artificial stretchable 3-D fabric which can generate senses of the real environment to the robotic beings. The skin like material was evolved by a group of scientists belonging from the University of Minnesota. The study is said to be published in the next edition of 'Advanced Materials.'
According to Phys Org, Michael McAlpine, the lead researcher in the study and the associate professor of mechanical engineering department of the University of Minnesota said "Putting this type of 'bionic skin' on surgical robots would give surgeons the ability to actually feel during minimally invasive surgeries, which would make surgery easier instead of just using cameras like they do now. These sensors could also make it easier for other robots to walk and interact with their environment." The team also claimed that this 3-D skin would also prove to be helpful in terms of surgery and to those of soldiers for determining harmful chemical compounds and mines at various battlefields.
Mail Online pointed that to create such 3-D bionic skin, the team of researchers utilized a unique sort of 3D printer made in the lab, which comes with four nozzles for printing with various "inks" and implements three different layers for making up the device. The device comes with a base layer, made of silicone. The top and bottom fronts hold electrodes made of a conducting ink and a coil-shaped pressure sensor. The end layer holds the top layer as a support to the whole.
Though the bionic skin hasn't been tested on a real human body till now, but McAlpine's team recently examined the printing device by putting the artificial fabric skin on a model hand. The group was surprised to see the superlative sensitivity of it on that, as McAlpine noted: "This is a completely new way to approach 3D printing of electronics."
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