About a year ago, I read “‘Digital skin’ activates brain cells” by Jonathan Webb. This article is about a polymer that contains sensors. When the sensors detect pressure, they send electrical signals. The researchers connected these sensors to a sliver of rat brain and were able to observe a different rate of pulses when applying various pressures. The idea is to develop this technology enough that it can be added to prosthetic limbs. The material is already thin enough that it can bend easily to act as a skin covering.
As I read the article, my mind kept flashing back to the scene in Star Wars where Luke’s artificial hand is pricked and we can see a flinching reaction.
Today, I watched a CNN video, “Great Big Story: For Amputees, Reactivating the Sense of Touch” about adding similar sensors to prosthetic limbs. It is an amazing and uplifting video.
I’m glad people are working in these areas. Every step of progress means more help for people who lost a limb or are born without one. I wish everyone the best of luck in finding a solution.