Science

Artificial tactile system study: Robots’ sense of touch could be as fast as humans

Optical picture of the hardware-implemented synthetic tactile afferent community. The {hardware} includes an array of synthetic receptors fabricated on a hand-shaped polyimide movie, and a PCB circuit that convert analog alerts into spike trains. Credit: Science (2024). DOI: 10.1126/science.adf3708

Research at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet may pave the best way for a prosthetic hand and robotic to have the ability to really feel contact like a human hand. Their study has been published within the journal Science. The know-how may be used to assist restore misplaced performance to sufferers after a stroke.

“Our system can determine what type of object it encounters as fast as a blindfolded person, just by feeling it and deciding whether it is a tennis ball or an apple, for example,” says Zhibin Zhang, docent on the Division of Electrical Engineering at Uppsala University.

He and his colleague Libo Chen carried out the examine in shut cooperation with researchers from the Alerts and Methods Division at Uppsala University, who supplied data processing and machine studying experience, and a bunch of researchers from the Division of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Neurogeriatrics at Karolinska Institutet.

Drawing inspiration from neuroscience, they’ve developed a synthetic tactile system that imitates the best way the human nervous system reacts to the touch. The system makes use of electrical pulses that course of dynamic tactile info in the identical means because the human nervous system.

“With this technology, a prosthetic hand would feel like part of the wearer’s body,” Zhang explains.

The bogus system has three essential parts: an electronic skin (e-skin) with sensors that may detect strain by contact; a set of synthetic neurons that convert analog contact alerts into electrical pulses; and a processor that processes the alerts and identifies the thing. In precept, it could possibly be taught to determine an infinite variety of objects, however of their checks the researchers have used 22 totally different objects for greedy and 16 totally different surfaces for touching.

Robots' sense of touch could be as fast as humans
Optical picture of the 22 objects used within the classification activity of hand grasp. Credit: Science (2024). DOI: 10.1126/science.adf3708

“We’re also looking into developing the system so it can feel pain and heat as well. It should also be able to feel what material the hand is touching, for example, whether it is wood or metal,” says Assistant Professor Libo Chen, who led the examine.

Based on the researchers, interactions between people and robots or prosthetic palms may be made safer and extra pure because of tactile suggestions. The prostheses may also be given the power to deal with objects with the identical dexterity as a human hand.

“The skin contains millions of receptors. Current e-skin technology cannot deliver enough receptors, but this technology makes it possible, so we would like to produce artificial skin for a whole robot,” says Chen.

The know-how may be used medically, for instance, to watch motion dysfunctions brought on by Parkinson’s illness and Alzheimer’s illness, or to assist sufferers get well misplaced performance after a stroke.

“The technology can be further developed to tell if a patient is about to fall. This information can be then used to either stimulate a muscle externally to prevent the fall or prompt an assistive device to take over and prevent it,” says Zhang.

Extra info:
Libo Chen et al, Spike timing–primarily based coding in neuromimetic tactile system permits dynamic object classification, Science (2024). DOI: 10.1126/science.adf3708

Supplied by
Uppsala University


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Synthetic tactile system examine: Robots’ sense of contact might be as quick as people (2024, May 15)
retrieved 15 May 2024
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