Technological Hardware

Robot and Prosthetic Touch Sense with its electronic coating

The unprecedented sensor system is 1000 times faster than human tissue. Although similar experiments have been carried out before, the e-skin has achieved the fastest response ever.

With the development of technology, robots and prostheses have entered our lives. These robots and prostheses will use the system recently developed by the National University of Singapore (NUS). The improved artificial system Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin (ACES) gives robots and prostheses a touch feeling equivalent to or better than human skin.

In addition to being ultra-high sensitivity and resistance to damage in the new electronic skin system, it can match any sensor skin layer to work effectively as an electronic skin. Its introduction was first published on July 18, 2019, in Science Robotics magazine.

Faster than the Human Sensory Nervous System
People use their sense of touch when shaking hands to greet, we are often unaware of this, but all this is felt by our sense of touch. Working to give a better sense of touch to robots and prosthetic devices, the NUS team was inspired by the human sensory nervous system. They have spent a considerable amount of time of a year and a half on a sensor system that could potentially perform better. The ACES electronic system consists of a network of sensors that are connected by a single electrical conductor, unlike the nerve bundles in the human skin, while detecting signals such as the human sensor and the nervous system.

Expressing the inspirational details of the invention, Professor Tee said, “The sensory system and sense of humans are extremely efficient. But it is just as sensitive to impact. For example, if our skin is cut, the sense of touch is also affected and it tries to renew itself, it protects the sense of touch in the most robust way. “If we can imitate our biological system in the best way, we can achieve tremendous results in the robotic field where electronic skins are applied, and we can move fast.”

ACES can detect touch 1000 times faster than human touch. ACES volumes can detect in as little as 10 milliseconds. ACES system takes care of high accuracy and capture speed with the device it makes. Besides, the ACES platform works hard for high durability against physical damages, which is an important feature for electronic skins. Connecting the sensors in existing electronic systems, on the contrary, connects the system to the electrical conductor that works independently in each sensor. This provides more resistance to physical damage in ACES-enabled systems, which means they are more susceptible to any damage.

Smart Electronic Coatings for Robots and Prosthetics
ACES ‘simple wiring system and remarkable responsiveness, even with an increasing number of sensors, play a very key role in facilitating smart electronic coatings for artificial intelligence applications in robots, prosthetic devices, and other human-machine interfaces. Professor Tee said, “Enabling robot and prosthetic devices with an electronic coating of relatively larger surface areas are very important in terms of high performance. To illustrate the purpose of smart electronic coatings, we should use it for situations such as sensing humidity and temperature. explains in the form.

Developed by Professor Tee and his team, ACES is designed with an extreme resemblance to human skin with its transparent, self-healing, water-resistant structure. This kind of electronic skin will be used for more realistic prosthetic limbs to help citizens with disabilities regain their sense of touch. Not limited to this, the team will improve itself. It aims to develop robots that can perform ordinary operations such as packaging in warehouses in the future. The NUS team plans to make more applications with advanced robots and prostheses such as ACES.

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