Robots Receive Tactual Sensation without Detectors Owing to IR LED and Solar Cells

According to the coverage of foreign media, the research team at the University of Glasgow has developed the first electronic skin prototype that generates energy, which receives tactile feedbacks without the need of designated touch sensors.

The research team at the University of Glasgow had published a research thesis in the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, which depicted how a robotic hand that is covered with a soft solar-powered skin is able to interact with other objects, without the utilization of exclusively designed and exorbitant touch sensors.

First, the miniaturized solar cell array is integrated onto the flexible polymer surface for duo purposes. The cells provide enough energy to propel the micro actuators that control the movement of the robotic hand, where a measurement is implemented to observe the output changes of the solar cells, and the cells also provide distinctive tactile feedbacks for the robotic hand.

The light that arrives at the surface diminishes when objects approach the surface of the cells, and the energy generated by the cells reduces as the light dims. When objects are in contact and cover the robotic hand, the energy of the cells will drop to zero, and the skin of the robotic hand is able to detect the shape of the approaching object, after a smart interpretation of the energy level that each cell produces.

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