Touch - reactive materials

Touch – reactive materials give robots a sense of touch

For many years scientists of the whole world wants to find a method, which will give the chance to robots to perceive. The robot with the improved ability to feel has more opportunities for identification of objects, moves with bigger care and carries out more tasks as a whole. The latest step to achievement of this purpose was taken by researchers from Institute of technology of Georgia, developed new type touch a material, which is rather sensitive to compete about sensitivity of human fingers and can present to robots tactile sense, which reminds our own. The raised tactile material uses about 8 thousand piezoelectric effect transistors, each of which contains about 1500 nanowires, which diameter between 500 and 600 nanometers. Unlike the majority of touch screens, which measure change in resistance or capacity to find where your finger, these transistors feel change in their own polarity with a pressure. It is connected with nanowires from zinc oxide, which connect to electrodes a thin layer of gold that at the same time gives them piezoelectric and semiconductor properties. Within nearly three years the research group chemically raised hundreds massifs with sizes of 92 x 92 transistors, which are located vertically to create “taxels”, which make separate electronic signals at a touch. Taxels are clamped between oxide layers, tin and the gold connected together, and then covered with polymer, which blocks from Skin with piezoelectric effectmoisture and corrosion. The received massifs have density of 234 pixels per inch and can register pressure, since 10 kPas (1,5 bars). According to developers, it does a material same sensitive, as finger-tips of the person. Massifs are transparent, flexible and rather strong – keep the abilities even after immersion in salt solution and the distilled water for 24 hours, that opens them for a wide range of applications, in particular for touch screens and imitation leather. The research group provides a skin with piezoelectric effect for use in the advanced touch screens, which can read out fingerprints or even to register the dot pressure used in various points of the signature for increase of safety. The advanced tactile sensors also will help with creation of artificial limbs of skin with ability to touch, and also for robots and artificial limbs.

source:www.gizmag.com