A team of engineers at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has created an electronic skin that, when layered on top of prosthetic hands, provides a real sense of touch through the fingertips.
The electronic skin, called e-dermis, is made of fabric and rubber laced with sensors to mimic nerve endings.
The system recreates a sense of touch, as well as pain, by sensing stimuli and relaying the impulses back to the user’s peripheral nerves.
The e-dermis device electrically stimulates the amputee's nerves in a non-invasive way via the skin, says JHU's Nitish Thakor.
The researchers created a neuromorphic model mimicking the touch and pain receptors of the human nervous system, enabling the e-dermis to electronically encode sensations similarly to the way natural receptors in the skin would. The team then tracked brain activity to verify that the test subject was able to feel through the e-dermis.
From Johns Hopkins University
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