Swiss researchers have developed a new artificial skin that can potentially be used in combination with virtual and augmented reality systems to give carriers the ability to enter their digital environment to feel through haptic feedback.
The "skin" is described as soft, flexible and durable because it consists of silicone and flexible electrodes. It can be stretched to four times its original length for one million cycles, giving it the strength it needs for real-world applications. According to lead author Harshal Sonar, this is the first development of its kind that integrates both sensors and actuators.
The haptic feedback is provided by pressure and vibration generated by soft pneumatic actuators that can be inflated with air up to 1
Initial tests were conducted with a small implementation that could be carried over sonar on the finger of a subject In the next step, a "fully portable prototype" for wider application scenarios will be developed. In addition to possible applications to enhance the immersion of virtual and augmented reality, it is believed that the creation could be used for medical rehabilitation, for example, to test the proprioception of a patient (feeling for self-motion and posture).
"It can be used to stimulate the human body while researchers study the dynamic brain activity in magnetic resonance experiments," Sonar said. "This gives us the ability to accurately and reliably modulate the user's perceived vibration stimulus."
Source: EPFL via Geek.com