Robots and prosthetic devices may soon have a sense of touch equivalent to, or better than, the human skin with the Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin (ACES), an artificial nervous system developed by a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The new electronic skin system achieved ultra-high responsiveness and robustness to damage and can be paired with any kind of sensor skin layers to function effectively as an electronic skin.
Drawing inspiration from the human sensory nervous system, the NUS team developed a sensor system that could potentially perform better. While the ACES electronic nervous system detects signals like the human sensor nervous system, it is made up of a network of sensors connected via a single electrical conductor. It is also unlike existing electronic skins which have interlinked wiring systems that can make them sensitive to damage and difficult to scale up.