The tactile sense of the spider transmitted through its feet is sensitive enough to feel the wing vibration of a fly insect. A communicative system was developed that uses this sensitive 'touch' to enable panplegia patients to use words that they want to.
According to POSTECH on December 20, a team led by professor Im Keun-bae of POSTECH and, professor Cho Sung-jin of Chungnam National University created a nanostructure of a metal layer by simulating the spider's foot system and based on the nanostructure, developed a sensor- and Morse code-based communication system. The research results were announced through the ACS Applied Materials and Interface.
The research team analyzed the structure of the spider's foot which has a very sensitive tactile sense in order to develop a sensor that can detect not only joint movements but delicate movements like the flinching of skin.
The team simulated the foot structure to create nano-sized cracks and by using the structure, create a sensor that feels elasticity and strain. Especially, by optimizing the nano-crack structure, they maximized the measurement range of the sensor, so that they made the sensor used to measure not only fine movements such as pulse movements but also for big movements of joints.
The team also demonstrated a system that allows patients with generalized paralysis to communicate with people using microscopic movements of their fingertips, eye blinks, and the Morse code, using this highly sensitive sensor that can measure even invisible vibrations. The length of blinks of the eye is assigned to the Morse code so that a word is expressed.
The newly developed sensor is expected to be used in medical robots as well as smart healthcare systems that can be loaded into wearable devices for self-diagnosis. Above all, this sensor can be utilized in various fields. The industrial world is paying much attention to this sensor as its simple and low-cost production process compared with other sensors makes the sensor more advantageous in commercialization.