Dust-busting on the Moon and a paper-based tablet – IMPRESSO #34

In this impresso: dust-busting on the Moon, paper-based tablets, and artificial skin mimicking our body’s sensory skills.


Dust-busting on the Moon

Nobody likes a dusty home, right? One surprising problem for colonizing the Moon? It’s pretty dusty up there! The lunar dust is “Regolith”. It covers the Moon’s surface and is made out of minuscule rock debris and dust-like heterogeneous material. It sticks to space suits, solar panels and has a high risk of damaging equipment. Scientists of the University of Colorado Boulder are developing an electron-beam, which would ‘blast’ dust off the lunar surface! The fancy electron beam would increase the load of the already charged particles with the effect of counteracting the electric stickiness similar to two magnets pushing against each other. Their vision is that one day, we could simply step into an electron-beam shower to dust off, after being out and about on the moon. Read more


Get yourself a paper-based tablet

Did you ever forget your beloved tablet computer at home and wished that the ordinary paper notepad in front of you would turn into one? Say no more! Engineers from Purdue University came up with tech that transforms paper sheets into smart electronic devices! By coating the paper to become water, oil, and dust repelling, the scientists are able to print multiple layers on the material. And tadaaa… the paper can be hooked to a computer and be used as a keyboard. The ‘Pablet’ is born! Read more or see that smart paper in action.


Fake it ’til your skin can make it!

Sensory touch and temperature sensation are two of the main functions of our skin. And the distinction between a gentle or painful sensory perception has been unique to real skin. Until recently! RMIT University’s researchers developed a prototype, which delivers an instant feedback response mimicking the body’s sensory skills! They combined stretchable electronics, temperature-reactive coatings, and electronic brain-mimicking memory cells. And the result? Artificial skin functioning like real skin – another potential healthcare breakthrough. Here’s to better prosthetics, smarter robotics, and non-invasive alternatives to skin grafts!  Read more