Soft robot with neurologic capabilities
In work that
combines a deep understanding of the biology of soft-bodied animals such as
earthworms with advances in materials and electronic technologies, researchers from
US and China have developed a robotic device containing a stretchable
transistor that allows neurological function, at University of Houston. The
work represents a significant step towards the development of prosthetics that could
directly connect with the peripheral nerves in biological tissues, offering
neurological function to artificial limbs, as well as towards advances in soft
neurorobots capable of thinking and making judgments.
The soft neurorobot was equipped with a neurologically integrated tactile sensory skin, allowing it to sense the interaction with the external environment and respond accordingly.
The findings have implications for neuroprosthetics, as well as for neuromorphic computing, an emerging technology with the potential to allow high volume information processing using small amounts of energy through devices that mimic the electric behaviour of neural networks.