Mimicking a human fingertip’s sensitivity and sense of direction for robotic applications

As robotic devices such as artificial prosthetics and human-computer interfaces are increasingly integrated into society, researchers have been looking more deeply into the sensitivity of the devices that serve the same function as hands. Human fingertips are remarkably sensitive. They can communicate details of an object as small as 40μm (about half the width of a human hair), discern subtle differences in surface textures, and apply just enough force to lift either an egg, or a 20 lb. bag of dog food without slipping. They can also manipulate objects with relative ease.

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