The Skin You're In
Dr. Ravinder Dahiya is the creator of this new "electronic" skin. As he told TedX Glasgow in an interview, it uses a variety of sensors to measure things like pressure and temperature. Dahiya and his team managed to create this extremely sensitive artificial skin using graphene, a material that "despite being just a single atom thick, is stronger than steel, electrically conductive, and transparent," according to a press release.
The extreme sensitivity of the new skin could lead to better prosthetics, where touch is currently a limiting factor. (Watch this cool demonstration that shows just how important touch sensitivity is.) The artificial skin also has a solar panel underneath that absorbs 98 percent of available light, making the entire device self-powered.
The coupling of solar panel technology with artificial skin is a huge breakthrough, but Dahiya and his team aren't stopping there. They hope to bring cheaper prosthetics to market, and eventually create "an entirely energy-autonomous prosthetic limb," Dahiya told Engadget.