Artificial electronic skin will warn of impending danger

Researchers at the Universities of Connecticut and Toronto have developed artificial leather that can give its owner superpowers, thanks to multifunctional sensors that respond to strong magnetic fields and pressure drops.

At the heart of e-skin is a "multimodal triboelectric ferrofluid nanogenerator" (FO-TENG), which is an elastic silicone tube filled with ferrofluid that reacts to magnetic fields. The tube is wound with copper wires through which electrical signals pass.

According to co-developer Islam Mos in an interview with Science Daily, the new leather has "excellent waterproofness, compatibility and stretch ability, " which allows it to retain its shape for years.

The developers hope that after obtaining the appropriate permits, the artificial skin can be used for the disposal of hazardous materials, in robotic search and rescue missions, as well as in the manufacture of "sensitive" prostheses for victims of severe burns.