New Material Hides Objects From Sense of Touch
You’ve heard of invisibility cloaks? Scientists have created a meta-material unfeelability cloak that prevents feeling anything underneath it.
Meta-materials are the darling of material science. Fabricated painstakingly and complexly at the micro-scale, they exhibit behaviors truly foreign to anything found in nature. Great advances have been made using them to bend light, heat, or sound around objects making them essentially invisible to certain modes of perception.
Researchers have recently announced a new type of mechanical meta-material that can make objects invisible to any tactile feedback, it seems. This is accomplished by 3D printing sub-millimeter cones oriented tip-to-tip with micrometer accuracy.
Resting this material on an object then just swallows it up and prevents an outside force, like a finger, from detecting its presence. This is accomplished by specifically designing the meta-material to shunt forces away from the object it’s hiding. I wonder though if it would still be invisible even if you pressed really really really hard.
I like this type of product because it was created purely for research with no other agenda. Some potential applications are obvious and could be pretty cool though like sleeping bags and footwear. Others not so much, like using it to conceal weapons.
I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t mention Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak at all in this post 🙂
Image Credit:T: Bückmann / KIT