Tactile Sensors

18 Haziran 2016

 

BTSS – BUYUKSAHIN Tactile Sensing System

 

High Sensitive Tactile Sensing Module For Robots And Devices (1st phase) 

Human beings sense touch through 241 nerve endings per square centimeter, and transmit to the brain without loss; whereas robots and other devices only achieve a sensor density in the order of tens. When the sensor density is enhanced, the data transmission becomes impossible, or impractical due to high costs. This system, which is recognized by international patents (US9030653B1, JP5785670B2, CA2896468, WO2014011126, EP2807463), allows the sensor density to be increased to the order of millions per square centimeter, while making it possible to transmit this data to a computer simply and with low cost.

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This system is the first to provide tactile sense beyond human resolution.

With this system, the artificial skin can be equipped with a sense of temperature in addition to the sense of touch. The system is based on easy to procure and low cost components, and is relatively simple to implement, making it very likely to find widespread use in both industrial settings and research laboratories.

This project has been patented internationally including USA (US9030653B1) and Japan (JP5785670B2), two countries with highly prestigious patent systems. It has been named one of the “Top 10 Projects in Turkey with the Highest Investment Potential” in 2013 by the “Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology” and METUTECH-BAN (Middle East Technical University Business Angels Network). In 2014, it took the 2nd place among 225 entrants to the “My First Job is Entrepreneurship Project Competition”. The project has also been recognized by YTU Technopark with “Star of Innovation” award in 2015. It has been featured widely in many prestigious scientific journals, TV news, and newspaper articles, and has been presented successfully as invited talks at many American, European and Asian conferences.

The key features of the system are as follows:

  • Very High Resolution: Single sensor receptor diameter is 9 microns, which corresponds to over 1 million receptors per cm2. For average human, the densest receptor area is at fingertips which has approximately 241 tactile receptors per cm2. Although the objective was 241 tactile receptors per cm2 (1555 tactile receptors per inch2), with our technology over 1 million receptors per cm2 could be achieved.
  • Force, Shape, Temperature and Multi-multi-touch-point Information: The system can measure applied force by Young Modulus phenomenon. Information on temperature and shape of deformation (i.e. can identify sharp objects) are also available. Available number of individual touch sensing data is equal to the number of receptors, which can expand to 1 million per cm2. (For example on the other side smart phones and tablets’ touch pads can process a total of 11 touch points at a time.)
  • Skinlike flexible design: Can be used as human like tactile sensing artificial skin for robotics and other devices. System is constructed of all bendable materials which give us the chance of covering non-uniform shaped mechanical systems.
  • Compact Data Transfer: Sensor data is collected by a standard CMOS or CCD sensor and can be easily transferred over USB or Network Connection. System sends the gradual (not only I/O) tactile sensing data of each sensor individually and real time over a single USB cable which can reach up to total of 50 M+ sensor data with only 1 USB cable.
  • Low Power Consumption:Low processing requirements, as data from the CMOS or CCD can processed as a compact image.
  • Over-the-counter Components: The system is built up with only components that are common and easy to provide
  • No interference: As the tactile sensing and temperature data is transferred by light, the system does not interfere with magnetic fields.
  • National Scale Prize Winning Technology in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Turkey.
  • Patented: US9030653B1, JP5785670B2, CA2896468, WO2014011126, EP2807463

About the project, new patent pending inventions are made. The new inventions list is as follows:

  • Büyükşahin U., Çok İşlevli bir Algılama Sistemi, TPE2016/06363
  • Büyükşahin U., Bir Dokunmatik Panel, TPE2016/06367
  • Büyükşahin U., Farklı Üst Katmanlar İçeren bir Algılama Sistemi, TPE2016/06370
  • Büyükşahin U., Pratik bir Algılama Sistemi, TPE2016/06374
  • Büyükşahin U., A Multifunctional Sensor System, PCT/TR2017/050166
  • Büyükşahin U., A Touch Panel, PCT/TR2017/050167
  • Büyükşahin U., A Sensor System with Different Upper Layers, PCT/TR2017/050168
  • Büyükşahin U., A Practical Sensor System, PCT/TR2017/050169

The project is being implemented in two phases. 1st phase is to provide high density and sensitivity touch sensors to robots and devices, and to manufacture artificial skin with sense of touch in this context. 2nd phase of the project is to transmit the sensory data collected by the artificial skin to the human brain.

As of today, 1st phase of the project is in a fairly advanced state. The experimental setup for the system has been developed, and transmission of sensory data to computers and robots has been successfully achieved. You can find the videos of working prototype in the following parts of this page.

 

High resolution tactile sensing artificial skin for prosthetics (2nd phase)

This project’s goal is to develop an artificial skin that provides the equivalent of a human’s sense of touch to prosthetic limbs, and to transfer this sensory input to the human brain, thus enabling the owner to feel the prosthetic limb as their own.

 

BTSS 20 20161102

 

Unfortunately, every able-bodied person is a candidate for disability. It is very common for individuals who have lost limbs to state that this was unthinkable to them until it happened. The second phase of the project is targeted to achieve one of the major dreams of humanity: to equip any prosthetic limb with the artificial skin manufactured during the first phase, and transmitting the sensory data to the human brain, thus allowing anyone with an artificial limb to feel them as their own. Obviously, this phase requires substantial resources. Today, this project is being conducted by micro-surgeons and neurologists who volunteer their time, and a small team focused on developing the first phase. Considering the enormity of the challenges, and the importance of a successful outcome, it is clear that a project team consisting of technical and medical members that is dedicated to it 24/7 is the only way forward. We are currently exploring sponsorship/investment options to finance such a team and the equipment needed to conduct this project. We would be remiss not to remind that the vast majority of missing limbs are a result of an illness or accident, and are not congenital.

The fact that our system enables a sensor density that is equivalent to humans makes the possibilities vast, and the outcome priceless.

About the 2nd phase of the project, new patent pending inventions are made. The list is as follows:

  • Büyükşahin U., Biyomekatronik Veri İletim Sistemleri, TPE2016/12947
  • Büyükşahin U., Biomechatronic Data Transmission Systems, PCT/TR2017/050146