The research team got inspiration from how spiders feel very slight movements, which they do thanks to cracks in their exoskeletons. The new device has similar tiny cracks within a layer of silver that is the core of the sensing mechanism. As the silver is slightly flexed, the cracks change the overall conductivity of the metal, which can be detected in real-time and converted to a stronger sensation. By wearing this technology on the fingers, it gives healthy people the ability to feel heartbeats by just touching someone’s body.
While such technology may be useful to improve the sensitivity of people suffering from loss of sensation, it may also be applicable as a way to improve how doctors feel things through surgical gloves.
Study in Applied Physics Reviews: Visually aided tactile enhancement system based on ultrathin highly sensitive crack-based strain sensors
Via: American Institute of Physics