Efforts remain consistent to make the lives of the disabled a little better. Many have lost the privilege to live life like any other human being and suffer daily. However, after rigorous research over the past few years, scientists have finally discovered ways to recreate a sense of touch. This brand new discovery will help the disabled section of society to feel the texture and temperature of an object. They will also be able to detect pain caused by external stimuli.
The National University of Singapore has studied this for years and finally come up with a solution. They have named the device as ACES or Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin. ACES has been designed in a way to detect and process information faster than that of the human nervous system. It is about 1 sq cm in size and contains about 100 small sensors. ACES has also been gifted to recognize 20 to 30 different textures and read Braille letters with extreme accuracy.
The real-life scientists were heavily inspired by Luke Skywalker of Star Wars. This new discovery shares links to the scene were Luke loses his arm after a duel with Darth Vader in the 1980 movie The Empire Strikes Back. After Luke dodges death by inches, he is brought in to replace the lost hand with an artificial one. Despite its metallic appearance, it functions just like a human hand. Forty years since the release of the Star Wars sequel, scientists come up with something very similar.
ACES will help those with prosthetic limbs to gain back the sense of touch. The promising new innovation will be able to change lives for many. Dr. Benjamin Tee, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the National University of Singapore, says, “When you lose your sense of touch, you essentially become numb… and prosthetic users face that problem. So by recreating an artificial version of the skin, for their prosthetic devices, they can hold a hand and feel the warmth and feel that it is soft, how hard are they holding the hand.”
Star Wars has also inspired experts from many other backgrounds. The franchise received credit for predicting the use of technologies like holograms and artificial intelligence. It is commendable that it could inspire scientists to create something so life-changing. Science will continue to seek inspiration from Star Wars and similar science fiction.