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Electronic skin that responds to touch by lighting up

world Updated: Jul 23, 2013 01:59 IST

Soon, robots may become more touchy-feely, literally!

Researchers have developed new paper-thin electronic skin, or e-skin, that responds to touch by instantly lighting up.

The more intense the pressure, the brighter the light it emits, scientists said.

A research team led by Ali Javey, University of California, Berkeley associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences created the first user-interactive sensor network on flexible plastic.

“With the interactive e-skin, we have demonstrated an elegant system on plastic that can be wrapped around different objects to enable a new form of human-machine interfacing,” said Javey.

The latest e-skin builds on Javey’s earlier work using semiconductor nanowire transistors layered on top of thin rubber sheets.

In addition to giving robots a finer sense of touch, the engineers believe the new e-skin technology could also be used to create things like wallpapers that double as touchscreen displays.