#TechTuesday: Graphene for haptic force sensors
Graphene Flagship Associated Member Atomic Mechanics, have applied their expertise with graphene-enabled flexible sensors to enhance interactions with any surface, which could find different applications in robotic surgery.
Over the past decade, surgical robots have revolutionised the way surgeons operate and drastically reduced recovery periods for patients. Robotic surgery allows for extreme accuracy during complex procedures, whilst only requiring minute incisions – even for major surgery.
Graphene's large surface area, high electrical conductivity, unique optical properties and ultra-thin thickness make it ideal for sensors. Ultra-sensitive graphene-based sensors are also smaller, lighter and less expensive than traditional alternatives.
Atomic Mechanics are now exploiting the unique properties of graphene to design, manufacture and commercialise a range of sensors devices which they hope will benefit society by enabling a new level of functionality and interaction between humans and robotics. The graphene-enabled film allows force sensitivity, while being transparent and adaptable, responding to the contours of human movement much like a second electronic skin. A full and inhibited range of movement is essential for a surgeon to control the surgical robot equipment with extreme precision.
Graphene-enabled flexible sensors could be tailored to any shape and size, and integrated into a series of commercial applications such as gaming controllers and even musical instruments.