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A Seoul National University professor developed a synthetic technology that reproduces the sense of touching real human skin. The artificial skin senses pressure, temperature, strain, and humidity. The soft material is also embedded with self-heating elements.

The multiple layers of the smart skin allow the user to detect subtle pressure. A bottom rubbery layer expresses the softness of human skin. An ultra-thin polyimide exists above the rubber layer, and silicon, placed on top, acts as a sensor.

Professor and creator Kim Dae-Hyeong of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering worked with his research team to fasten the synthetic skin to a prosthetic hand. The hand performs a variety of complex actions, such as shaking hands, using a keyboard, and holding a ball. The artificial skin also successfully relayed data.

The innovation could help individuals who have lost limbs regain their sense of touch. Smart skin could also greatly aid the rapidly developing robotics industry.

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