E-skin outperforms human sensory nervous system

n-neuralskin1Researchers at the National University of Singapore have demonstrated a novel type of signal architecture that could make robotic and prosthetic electronic skins much faster and more robust than today’s sequentially sampled tactile sensor arrays.

Instead of relying on time-divisional multiple access to reconstruct a two-dimensional map of pressure / temperature distribution, the researchers chose an event-based signal architecture, where sensors asynchronously transmit data upon value changes.

This is similar to the skin’s biological mechanoreceptors, their source of inspiration, which can fire spike signals asynchronously and form very precise spatiotemporal patterns that reach the brain at a constant latency for sensory interpretation.

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