INTUITIVE will provide a unique research training opportunity to a cohort of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) in the burgeoning multidisciplinary field of artificial touch, flexible electronics and their applications in robotics and assistive and rehabilitation technology, whose markets are predicted to nearly triple in next 10 years. The INTUITIVE network comprises 14 internationally reputed research teams (from 8 EU countries) from academia, research institutions and industry. It will offer strategic research training opportunities with exceptional career prospects in academia/industry and a potential of dramatic impact on the well-being of our societies by enabling safer human robotics.
The mission of INTUITIVE is to train a pool of 15 ESRs in soft materials, flexile electronics, mechanics, neuroscience, micro/nanofabrication, signal processing, bioinspired algorithms, and applications such as robotics and assistive/rehabilitation technologies.
The scientific outcome of the project will be a soft biomimetic tactile skin integrating sensor, memory and electronics embedded in soft materials, and capable of encoding the haptics data as in the human central nervous system (CNS)
Tactile sensing is fundamental yet underestimated means for humans and robots to interact with the physical environment. While computer vision has progressed beyond pixel-based processing, the area of haptics still operates at the level of individual tactile elements, wrongly assuming that these ¨taxels¨ are independent on the physical interaction with the environment. With a unique mix of basic research (in neuroscience , skin biomechanics, neural computation) and applied research (in flexible electronics, rehabilitation, robotics), INTUITIVE will develop a new conceptual framework for tactile sensing, where the signals of interdependent sensors are used to extract ultra-rich haptic information as in the human CNS, it will apply the knowledge gained form neuroscience insights to develop biomimetic sensing for robotics and assistive devices.
Objective 1: Train early stage researchers (ESRs) in multi-disciplinary, intersectorial and supra-disciplinary fields of haptics, nanotechnology, flexible electronics, human robotics neurotechnology and complementary soft skills.
Objective 2: Understand the neuronal computations enabling tactile information to be fully processed inside the brain and synthesize these strategies for efficient signal processing.
Objective 3: Understand how skin biomechanics determines tactile sensing across a population off receptors and how the brain utilizes this information to detect tactile primitives.
Objective 4: Develop biomimetic signal processing based on tactile primitives and investigate computational functions in typical haptic recognition tasks.
Objective 5: Develop biomimetic tactile skin for tomorrow’s touch/haptic and assistive technology; demonstrate effective data handling at various levels of abstraction/hardware.
Objective 6: Demonstrate new strategies for robotic haptic manipulation and tactile displays for blind.
Objective 7: Ensure quick transition of innovation to industry by directly involving key industrial partners, thus leverage the strength of the EU in strategic fields of haptics, flexible electronics and human robotics.
This project is founded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 861166 (INTUITIVE)