The “super power” of electronic skin

   I believe that anyone who has watched the movie “X-Men” will be convinced by the powerful and magical power of King Magneto. He can control any metal. He doesn’t need to get up at all no matter what he wants to do, just move his finger.
   In fact, with the advancement of technology, our lives have become much simpler. For example, using electronic devices with voice recognition functions can turn on lights and air conditioners. In many cases, we are very much like Wanciwang. Now, this similarity will be further upgraded. The emergence of electronic skins allows us to control some electronic devices with the movement of a finger.
   Over the past few years, electronic skins have attracted widespread attention from software and materials engineers. The electronic skin has various functions. It can be attached to human skin like a band-aid, and track health data such as muscle movement, heart rate, and brain activity of the human body. It can also allow robots to feel changes in the environment. In the future, robots may even be Tactile.
   Next, let’s learn about the magical electronic skin together!
   Electronic skin will be placed in the hands of the world’s
   electronic skin can be worn in the film is a hand, or can be transferred to emulate the skin on the human body. Installing different devices in the electronic skin allows it to have different functions.
   In 2018, researcher Dennis Makalov and his colleagues at the Helmholtz Federation of Germany (scientific research institution) developed an electronic skin that can manipulate objects without contact. Determine the location and distance of the object).
   This electronic skin is glove-shaped, with a magnetic field sensor at the palm of the hand, and tiny magnets at the fingertips. When a person’s hand makes various actions, the magnet of the fingertip changes position, further changing the magnetic field near the hand, and the magnetic field sensor can capture the minute movements of the hand and transmit the movement instructions to the corresponding electronic device. .
   Experimenters wearing this electronic skin can type on the virtual keyboard remotely without touching the actual keyboard. In another experiment, researchers successfully changed the brightness of the lamp by moving their fingers without touching the lamp.
   Researchers say that electronic skins will bring great convenience to our lives in the future. The device could be of great use in navigation, robotics, regenerative medicine, sports, gaming, and virtual and augmented reality interactions. The research team is also preparing to increase the sensor’s sensitivity by two to three orders of magnitude and calibrate the device based on the Earth’s magnetic field.
   Get real tactile
   sense of touch is one of the most basic human five senses, it can help people perceive their surroundings, and timely manner to avoid possible dangers. However, for some people with impaired limbs, wanting to feel the world normally through the sense of touch seems to be a luxury. However, the advent of electronic skin has brought the gospel to such people.
   At present, even the world’s most realistic and bionic prosthesis is difficult to achieve a tactile breakthrough. The tactile electronic skin can fully understand the prosthesis’s actions such as touching, bending or pressing, and help the person with the prosthesis to recover the feeling.
   So, how does electronic skin do it?
   The principle of electronic skin with tactile sensations is similar. Different research institutions are slightly different. Here is an example of a high-sensitivity electronic skin developed by researchers at Stanford University in California. Slight pressure on the hands.
   The electronic skin is composed of three parts: a pressure sensor, a circuit, and a nerve cell with a special protein. Through these three components, the electronic skin can realize the reception, conversion, and transmission of tactile signals. The pressure sensor is the most important sensory device for the skin. It can sense the change of external pressure and convert the pressure into resistance. The sensor is connected to a circuit that converts the change in resistance into an electrical pulse signal. Next, the electrical signal is converted into a light signal by a photoelectric device (such as a micro LED lamp). Nerve cells containing special proteins then convert light signals into neural signals, thus realizing the tactile transmission process.
   Tactile sense of pressure can help people recognize the shape and texture of objects. If you use sensors that measure pressure, temperature, humidity, and airflow at the same time, electronic skin will eventually look like real skin, and even make us feel the world more sensitively.
   The electronic skin that once appeared in science fiction is now a reality technology. It is believed that with the deepening of research, electronic skin can shine in the fields of medical treatment and enhancement of human functions.