The study of soft-bodied living organisms has helped researchers develop a unique neural technology. A team of researchers from China and the US have developed a stretchable neural device. The device is a distinct form of transistors, and can act as a nimble robot. The neurological properties of the robot can impart it the functionality of small creatures such as earthworms. It is worthwhile to mention that the robot is an outcome of advancements in electronic and material technologies. The findings of the research paper were published in the Science Advances journal.
Imparting Neurological Properties to Limbs
Professors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston offer valued insights about the new technology. They assert that this technology could be a major leap in the domain of prosthetics. The neural devices can be connected to the biological tissues via the peripheral nerves. This could help artificial limbs in acquiring neurological abilities. Furthermore, development of soft neuro-robots that can ‘think’ and make decisions may also be accomplished through this technology.
Importance of Neurological Pathways
The researchers draw understandable analogies to explain the functionality of the device. Any sense of touch on the human skin is felt through neural pathways linked to the brain. The soft device is configured to function like the neural pathways in humans. Hence, the technology can have wide-scale implications for the domain of prosthetics. Neuromorphic computing is also a key area of research that could be directly related to the research in question. Under neuromorphic computing, a hardware device processes large amounts of information through imitation of neural networks. The low energy consumed during the process has captured the attention of neuro-researchers.
It is important to understand the role of neural imitation in prosthetics. The researchers see the new transistor robot as a means to improve prosthetic surgeries and treatments.