“Artificial nerve” system for sensory prosthetics, robots

Stanford’s  Zhenan Bao has developed an artificial sensory nerve system that can activate the twitch reflex in a cockroach and identify letters in the Braille alphabet. Bao describes it as “a step toward making skin-like sensory neural networks for all sorts of applications”  which would include artificial skin that creates a sense of touch in prosthetics.

The artificial nerve circuit integrates three components:

  • A touch sensor that can detect minuscule forces.
  • A flexible electronic neuron which receives signals from the touch sensor.
  • An artificial synaptic transistor modeled after human synapses which is stimulated by theses sensory signals.

The system was successfully tested to generate both reflexes and a sense touch. The team  also hopes to create low-power, artificial sensor nets to cover robots, to provide feedback that makes them more agile.

Click to view Science video


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab.  Speakers include:  Mary Lou Jepsen – George ChurchRoz PicardNathan IntratorKeith JohnsonJuan EnriquezJohn MattisonRoozbeh GhaffariPoppy Crum – Phillip Alvelda

Join Apply Sci at the 10th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley conference on February 21-22, 2019 at Stanford University.  Zhenan Bao will be the keynote speaker.