Inspired By STAR WARS, Scientists Are Developing Artificial Skin That Can "Feel"

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Star Wars continues to inspire science as scientists in Singapore have made advancements in technology that was first introduced to us in The Empire Strikes Back.

A new report that was published by Reuters shares new details on a new device called ACES, which stands for Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin. It’s an artificial skin that can feel! The researchers at the National University of Singapore have crafted a material, which includes 100 sensors and is just one square centimeter in size.

Lead researcher Benjamin Tee says that ACES can process details faster than the human nervous system while recognizing dozens of textures and the ability to read Braille with upwards of 90-percent accuracy. That’s pretty damn incredible! The whole goal of this is to make artificial skin for people with prosthetic limbs that can detect objects, textures, temperatures, and even feel pain. Tee says:

“So humans need to slide to feel texture, but in this case the skin, with just a single touch, is able to detect textures of different roughness. When you lose your sense of touch, you essentially become numb… and prosthetic users face that problem. So by recreating an artificial version of the skin, for their prosthetic devices, they can hold a hand and feel the warmth and feel that it is soft, how hard are they holding the hand

It’s then explained that the artificial intelligence component of the tech allows the “electronic” skin to learn at a rapid pace.

I absolutely love this! It’s incredible that this kind of tech actually exists now! Being able to touch and feel things is so powerful and important!

Tee also directly attributes the inspiration for this tech to the scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke Skywalker had his sliced off-hand replaced with a robotic hand with an organic look that could feel.

The group also went ahead and registered patents for transparent skin that’s capable of repairing itself in the event of being torn, and a material that can emit light. Badass tech!

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