Wearables have become popular during the last decade and a new innovation in 3D Printing has made them even smaller. At the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, researchers have developed a silicone pressure sensor that can be 3D-printed directly onto a person’s hand. What's astonishing about this technology is that these extruder nozzles are able to sense the surface of an object rather than print rigidly on a flat print bed. This could be used down the line to give robots a sense of touch, restore it for humans who have lost their own due to skin damage, or provide assistance for delicate use-cases like carrying out delicate surgical procedures. The flexible, stretchable sensors create a multitude of possibilities when it comes to creating bionic augmentations for humans.
Video by Inside Science
Image by Shuang-Zhuang Guo and Michael McAlpine, University of Minnesota