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Indian scientists develop low-cost touchless touch sensor for ATMs, vending machines to prevent virus spread

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Touch-less touch screen technology developed can restrain viruses spreading through contact.

Indian scientists have come up with an affordable solution to develop a low-cost touch-cum-proximity sensor popularly called touchless touch sensor through a printing technique.

The breakthrough comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic requires measures to reduce the risk of viruses spreading, particularly in public places where touchscreens on self-service kiosks, ATMs, and vending machines are nearly inevitable.

Work done by an Indian team of scientists led by Prof. G U Kulkarni and co-workers and funded by DST-Nano mission at CeNS has been published recently in the journal ‘Materials Letters’ recently. Dr. Ashutosh K Singh, a scientist working on this project, said, “We have fabricated a touch sensor which senses a proximal or hover touch even from a distance of 9 cm from the device”.

“We are making a few more prototypes using our novel low-cost patterned electrodes to prove their feasibility for other smart electronic applications. These patterned electrodes can be made available to interested industries and R&D labs on a request basis to explore collaborative projects,” said Dr. Indrajit  Mondal, another co-author in the research.

Recently Bengaluru-based scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), and the government’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced and Scientific Research Government have set up a semi-automated production plant for the production of printing-aided patterned (resolution of around 300 µm) transparent electrodes, which has the potential for being utilized in advanced touchless screen technologies.

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