'American and Korean researchers have given robots yet another sense once restricted to living organisms: the sense of touch. An article in Science Daily stated that the researchers developed artificial sensory nerves that work like the real thing.
When attached to a cockroach’s leg, the artificial nerves can trigger the twitch reflex. The nerves are also sensitive enough that they can identify the embossed letters of the Braille alphabet.
The researchers from Stanford University (Stanford) and the Seoul National University (SNU) claimed that their new artificial nervous system will help make artificial skin for prosthetic limbs and restore the sense of touch of amputees. In the future, the artificial nerves might grant reflexes to robots.
“We take skin for granted but it’s a complex sensing, signaling and decision-making system,” explained Zhenan Bao, a Stanford professor who served as the senior author of the study. “This artificial sensory nerve system is a step toward making skin-like sensory neural networks for all sorts of applications.”
Bao was copying the ways skin can stretch, regenerate, and behave like a network of smart sensors. Skin sent pleasant sensations to the brain and triggered reflex reactions in muscles when encountering painful sensations.'
Read more: Researchers develop an artificial nervous system that gives robots the ability to sense touch
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