Name: Soft-sensing interfaces with multifunctional smart materials

Abstract:

Description: <p>The Cyber Valley &ldquo;Locomotion in Biorobotic and Somatic Systems&rdquo; research group investigates the biomechanics of locomotion and underlying morphological adaptations, as evolved by nature. The researchers then apply their biological findings to develop life-like robots and functional materials that are similar to how they occur in nature. Their research is at the interface of engineering and biology &ndash; a relatively new and promising field.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dr. Ardian Jusufi and Hritwick Banerjee envision developing a flexible, stretchable, and biocompatible external sensor made from multi-functional smart materials that could one day be applied in healthcare, both for humans and in non-invasive veterinary care. The sheet-like sensor would adhere externally to the human or animal exterior as smoothly as a second layer of skin, and would stay in place no matter how a person or animal moves. The sensor could then detect a person&rsquo;s health, sense blood pressure and other biometric values, or whether a person had an irregular heart beat that could indicate adverse health events such as heart attacks. In addition to a broad of range of biomedical applications, the soft and flexible sensor could also be built into&nbsp;smart clothes, wearable electronics, or soft robotics, to name just a few examples. They could also be used to improve human-machine interaction. For instance, self-driving cars could be equipped with such sensors. If a person touched the sensor while sitting in the vehicle, it could detect an imminent medical emergency and send a signal to the autopilot, which would immediately drive the car to the nearest hospital.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are substantial technological challenges on the path to developing soft interfaces of this kind, which would have to potentially gather a broad range of healthcare information while being wrapped around an arm or leg like silk. The fundamental features of such a sensor must be significantly improved to enable performance. This is why fundamental basic research is required to explore flexibility, sensitivity, repeatability, linearity, durability, and stimuli-responsive material, for instance.&nbsp;</p> <p>Top sum up: the key aims of the scientists&rsquo; research project are as follows:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>manufacturing pressure-sensitive tactile sensing which is strain invariant, and improving the interface between highly stretchable and biocompatible conducting materials which provide excellent adhesion</li> <li>developing a sensing sleeve with a multi-stimuli response embedded into a single hybrid platform that could actively conform to the device or body without compromising efficacy, and</li> <li>exploring innovative automobile, entertainment industry applications for cutting- edge soft sensors, including integration with mobile soft robots, rehabilitative systems, and possibly collision-aware surgical robotics</li> </ul>

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Slug: soft-sensing-interfaces-with-multifunctional-smart-materials

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