A flexible electronic skin that can sense when something is too hot to handle or is being squeezed too hard could give robots an almost-human sense of touch. Takao Someya and colleagues at the University of Tokyo in Japan embedded electronic sensors in a thin plastic film flexible enough to wrap around an egg.The film incorporates a matrix of transistors to measure pressure and another to sense temperature. The point at which two wires intersect in each matrix provides sensor readings, with changes in current indicating fluctuations in temperature or pressure. The two layers are fabricated separately before being overlaid, slightly offset, and laminated to form the finished e-skin.The distance between each sensor in the matrices is roughly four centimetres and sensitivity to temperature and pressure has yet to be tested thoroughly.
Source: newscientist.comAdded: 6 June 2006