A new kind of artificial skin made from thin layers of polymers and carbon nanotubes could soon give patients and robots alike the sensation of hot, cold, and pressure. With robotic and computer technologies advancing, artificial hands have become increasingly lifelike in motion and flexibility. But artificial skin is still, for the most post, an unfeeling plastic coating.
"By employing carbon nanotube technology, we can not only come very close to existing skin characteristics, we may even exceed them," said John Simpson, a senior research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Nanomaterials Synthesis and Properties Group. See Artificial Skin Mimics the Real Thing.