Artificial Sensors can Help Impart Sensing Ability to Robots

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A group of researchers from the Stanford University and Seoul National University have devised an artificial sensor nerve system with the ability to identify letters in the Braille alphabets as well as can activate the twitch reflexes in cockroaches. The system is expected to pave way to the creation of artificial skin as well as the restoration of sensation among amputees. Moreover, if aspirations of the scientists are to be trusted, these artificial sensors may go on to giving robots a certain type of reflexing capabilities.

According to Zhenan Bao who is among the senior authors of the study as well as a chemical engineering professor, highlights that while we take skin sensibility by granted, this development can be an important progression towards creating skin-like sensory neural networks for diverse applications including robots who can feel.

The researchers started with the hopes of mimicking skin, as they stretch as well as are able to repair itself overtime. Additionally, smart sensing system that has been developed is able to know exactly to transfer pleasant sensation to the brain as well as is able to detect moments when the muscles are required to take quick decisions. The sensory systems can be integrated on soft robots and neuro-prosthetic devices.

The system is able to identify even slightest of forces and relays a signal though a flexible electronic neuron. This new system is a striking improvement to the electronic neuron and touch sensors that were made by the Bao Lab. The new systems have been tested on both sensing and generating reflexes.

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