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Who Were the First.

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Current issue

ELEKTRO 7/2018 was released on June 27th 2018. Its digital version will be available on July 27th 2018.

Topic: Cables, conductors and cable engineering; Tools, equipment and accessories for work with cables

Main Article
Parametrization of circuit models of Li-accumulators for electromobility
Smart Cities (part 3 – volume 1)

SVĚTLO (Light) 4/2018 was released on July 30th 2018. Its digital version will be available on August 31th 2018.

Refreshing our memory
Eccentric luminaires of René Roubíček from the years1965 till 1977
Bases of photometry – 1st part
Great personage of Czech science of times after Battle at Bílá hora: doctor, naturalist, philosopher and physicist Jan Marek Marci from Kronland

Optical radiation effects and use
The light and circadian rhythms

Temperature sensor for artificial skin

30.01.2017 | ETH Zurich | www.ethz.ch

The capacity to detect temperature changes is an important function of the human skin. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a highly sensitive and, at the same time, flexible temperature sensor, which could soon be used in prosthetic limbs and robotic arms.

Serendipity played an important role in the discovery of this temperature sensor. In his research, Raffaele Di Giacomo, who led the project in the laboratory of ETH-professor Daraio, had initially stumbled upon a peculiarity of the vegetable material pectin. Pectin is better known around the household as a gelling agent for puddings and marmalades, but Di Giacomo was interested in a different property of this substance, which is composed of many interconnected sugar molecules.

Temperature sensor for artificial skin

Experiments on tree branches, whose cell walls contain pectin, had shown that their electrical conductivity depended strongly on temperature. To investigate the mechanism behind that dependence, the researchers in Zurich created an artificial “cyberwood” made from pectin and carbon nanotubes.

By measuring the electrical resistance at different temperatures they eventually found that calcium ions trapped at the contact points between two sugar molecules were responsible for the sensing mechanism. The higher the temperature, the more free calcium ions were present in the artificial wood, and hence the better it conducted electrical current.

Read more at ETH Zurich

Image Credit: ETH Zurich / Raffaele di Giacomo

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