Our Article on Nature materials posted on Nature dot com as first Page 30 July 2012
In addition, my article has been introduced as Nature News by Katherine Bourzac
(C. Pang, G.-Y. Lee, T.-I Kim, S. M. Kim, H. N. Kim, S.-H. Ahn, and K.-Y. Suh, “A Flexible and Highly Sensitive Strain Gauge
Sensor using Reversible Interlocking of Nanofibers” Nature Materials on line published )
Electronic sensor rivals sensitivity of human skin
Devices inspired by beetle wings could give robots a more nuanced sense of touch.
A flexible electronic sensor made from interlocking hairs can detect the gentle steps of a ladybird and distinguish between shear and twisting forces, just as human skin can. It can also be strapped to the wrist and used as a heart-rate monitor. The sensor's design, described today in Nature Materials (Pang et al), was inspired by beetle wing-locking structures, says Kahp-Yang Suh, an engineer at Seoul National University.
Human skin can distinguish between these types of strain, but most artificial sensors cannot. “Sensing shear and torsion is difficult,” says Zhenan Bao, a materials scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who is developing other flexible strain sensors. Other sensors detect only the total applied force, they can't say anything about its direction, says Suh.
[Highlighting Best Research from the Nature Asia-Pacific]