Tactile devices to sense touch on a par with a human finger

Vivek Maheshwari, Ravi Saraf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Our sense of touch enables us to recognize texture and shape and to grasp objects. The challenge in making an electronic skin which can emulate touch for applications such as a humanoid robot or minimally invasive and remote surgery is both in mimicking the (passive) mechanical properties of the dermis and the characteristics of the sensing mechanism, especially the intrinsic digital nature of neurons. Significant progress has been made towards developing an electronic skin by using a variety of materials and physical concepts, but the challenge of emulating the sense of touch remains. Recently, a nanodevice was developed that has achieved the resolution to decipher touch on a par with the human finger; this resolution is over an order of magnitude improvement on previous devices with a sensing area larger than 1 cm2. With its robust mechanical properties, this new system represents an important step towards the realization of artificial touch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7808-7826
Number of pages19
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number41
StatePublished - Sep 29 2008


  • Materials science
  • Molecular electronics
  • Nanostructures
  • Sensors
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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