IBM invents artificial skin that may outperform its natural counterpart

IBM has invented a highly sensitive artificial skin.

The artificial skin may outperform its natural counterpart in terms of resolution.

The artificial skin includes “nano-fingers” fabricated over a semiconductor layer. These nano-fingers extend vertically from the semiconductor layer and mesh with a matching array of nano-fingers extending from a flexible layer where pressure can be sensed. Depending on the pressure acting on the flexible layer, the amount of interlocking of the nano-fingers varies causing a change in resistance to electric current.


A transistor array fabricated in the semiconductor layer then generates electrical signals representative of the pressure acting on different regions of the flexible layer. With the advanced high density fabrication technology available, the resolution of the transistor array and the nano-fingers can be made far higher than what is found in biological skins.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 9,421,087
Patent Title: Artificial electronic skin
Publication date: 23 Aug 2016
Filing date: 27 Apr 2015
Inventors: Bahman Hekmatshoartabari; Ghavam G. Shahidi; Davood Shahrjerdi;
Original Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation