Scientists at University of California, Berkeley, have presented a prototype for extremely sensitive electronic whiskers that mimic the complex functions of cat’s whiskers.

These artificial mustaches could facilitate the interaction between human and machine and could be applied to robots, improving their perception ability. In fact, one of the aims of the research, led by Materials Science professor Ali Javey, is to incorporate the whiskers into the next generation of robots in order to allow the machines to collect more information about the environment.

The whiskers are made of a combination of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles, which are applied to high-aspect-ratio elastic fibers. These materials make the device flexible, lightweight, very sensitive and quite easy to manufacture, which will help with keeping costs low.

Robots with sensitive catlike sensors: nature leads, technology follows!

Source: News Center Berkeley Lab

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