Spiders may be scary and creepy but you will be thrilled to know that Korean scientists have figured out these spooky creatures to be the key to some advanced ultra-sensitive wearable devices. The hyper sensitivity of spiders are being implemented in their research. Spiders have the ability to detect small changes in mechanical stress using crack-shaped slit organs near their leg joints. This geometry is designed by that of a spider’s slit.
The working principle is based the function of a spider’s lyriform organs. These organs respond extremely sensitively to the rubbing motions of a nearby mate. Scientists have modelled an artificial system which will aim to recreate the lyriform’s slits artificially. Layers of platinum and soft polymer with electricity passing through them will be the underlying concept. According to Nature journal, “The sensors are sensitive to strain (with a gauge factor of over 2,000 in the 0–2 per cent strain range) and vibration (with the ability to detect amplitudes of approximately 10 nanometres). The device is reversible, reproducible, durable and mechanically flexible, and can thus be easily mounted on human skin as an electronic multipixel array. The ultrahigh mechanosensitivity is attributed to the disconnection–reconnection process undergone by the zip-like nanoscale crack junctions under strain or vibration.”
The concept will be utilized in highly selective speech pattern recognition and the detection of physiological signals.