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Softer-than-Skin Electronics, Sensors, and Adaptive Materials

Soft robotics, wearable computing, and mechanically adaptive structures will lead to revolutionary tools for exploration, disaster relief, personal electronics, and assistive medicine. Progress demands innovative solutions to current challenges: electronic skin for tactile sensing, and soft, hyperelastic circuits for stretchable computing. These new materials will enable next-generation machines and electronics to be soft, durable, impact resistant, and capable of adapting their shape, mechanical properties, and functionality to rapid changes in user environmental conditions. Harvard MRSEC researchers have created all-compliant pressure, strain, and curvature sensors by embedding a conductive liquid in microchannels in a silicone elastomer.