Researchers from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have developed a sensor array inspired by the human auditory system. This new approach could be used in robotics, aviation, healthcare, and industrial machinery. Traditional sensor arrays have challenges like complex wiring, limited reconfigurability, and low damage resistance. The new design addresses these challenges by using a unique frequency for each sensor unit and modulating the amplitude of the frequency signal, similar to how hair cells in the human ear process distinct frequencies. The new design reduces the number of output wires, allows for simultaneous processing of information from all sensor units, and provides redundancy in case of damage. The sensor array can be used for pressure and temperature monitoring, as well as strain distribution in airplane wings. However, the number of sensor units in the array is limited by operational bandwidth and the size of electronic components. The research was published in the journal Science Advances, and the team aims to further simplify the design and seek commercial partnerships for the technology.

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