Artificial fingertip with ‘human-like’ sense of touch could improve robots and prosthetics

Baku, April 13, AZERTAC

Scientists in the UK have developed a 3D-printed fingertip that can touch and feel surfaces almost like humans do.

Researchers at the University of Bristol say the technology could make robots considerably more agile and even help improve prosthetics.

“Being able to 3D print tactile skin could create robots that are more dexterous or significantly improve the performance of prosthetic hands by giving them an in-built sense of touch,” said Nathan Lepora, professor of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) at the University of Bristol.

Lepora and his colleagues developed the artificial fingertip using a 3D-printed mesh of pin-like papillae that mimics the movement observed between the inner and outer layers of human skin.

The team said the sense of touch of the robotic fingertip was "startlingly" close to that of real skin.


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