Cornell University engineers have invented a new kind of robotic hand with a human’s delicate sense of touch.
Scenario: you lost part of your arm in a car accident. That artificial arm and hand you got from the hospital lets you feel and pick up things — even type on a keyboard. But not with the same sensitivity as a real hand. Now, an artificial prosthesis can even let you feel which one of three tomatoes is ripe (as shown in the video below).
The engineers’ trick was to use soft, stretchable optoelectronic (light + electronics) sensors in the fingers to detect shape and texture.