An artificial nerve has been created by researchers that triggers a muscle response in cockroaches. In humans, it will allow patients with artificial limbs to feel sensation and pressure. The tech might also allow robots to feel touch as well. Scientists have used artificial nerves to detect the motion of a small rod moving in different directions. When an artificial neuron was connected to a neuron in a cockroach with a leg removed, the signals from artificial neurons made the cockroach contract and twitch.
Human’s sense of touch involves thousand’s of sensors which track various types of pressures. The senses have to be strong to pass a gatekeeper before they can be communicated to the brain. The artificial sensory nerve repeats the process through three parts. First is a series of sensors which are picked up on various pressure hues and increases voltage between the electrodes. Another device translates the voltage into electrical pulses and a third device sends out electrical pulses in patterns which mimic the biological neurons.
The nerves are made out of soft, flexible organic materials which are surprisingly cheap to manufacture. This means that scientists can add in many artificial nerves to help pick up different types of sensory information. This will help the people with artificial limbs to regain a sense of touch. It will give robots a chance to interact with the world more efficiently. It will also let robots take on more sensitive roles like taking care of humans with a gentle touch. Fingers crossed for this technology as it makes its way to the market.