Flexible skin with microactuators

ESR8

Objectives

Tactile feedback in robotics, prosthetics and rehabilitation is needed to transfer the information acquired by biomimetic skin. Currently this is achieved through vibrotactile feedback. However, the current actuators for vibrotactile feedback are bulky and the feedback is very limited. This has led researchers to explore invasive methods using neural probes. However, invasive methods are painful and current technology is far from practical use. We will overcome this challenge and develop flexible e-skin with ultra-thin microactuators with a combination of inductive coils and magnetic materials (to enhance the expansion of skin during vibration). The high-density microactuators and flexibility of substrate on which they are realized, will lead to enriched tactile feedback. The new skin patch will be validated by connecting with sensing components. Secondments will provide an opportunity to verify the effectiveness of proposed approach for tactile feedback in prosthetics and rehabilitation applications.

Expected Results

Ultra-flexible skin with microactuator array for vibrotactile feedback.

Planned secondments

OSS: to define specifications for skin patch

BMW: to learn about the need for vibrotactile feedback in automation

OSS: to validate skin patch

Placement

Host institution: University of Glasgow

Enrolments (in Doctoral degree): University of Glasgow

Supervisors

Ravinder Dahiya, Asgeir Alexandersson