Cephalopods, like octopuses, squid and cuttlefish, have extended and intelligent skin, which contributes to the ability of these animals to understand and react to their surroundings. A Penn State-led collaboration has used these features to create artificial skin that mimics both the elasticity and neural function of cephalopod skin, with potential applications for neurorobotics, skin artificial instruments, artificial limbs, and more.
Led by Kunjiang Yu, Dorothy Quigle Career Development Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering, the team released their results on June 1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Cephalopod skin is a soft organ that can tolerate complex deformations such as stretching, contraction, bending, and twisting. It also has cognitive sensation and response functions that allow the skin to detect light, react and disguise its wearer. Although artificial skins with these physical or cognitive abilities have existed before, according to Yu, so far no one has demonstrated both qualities simultaneously – the necessary combinations for advanced, artificially intelligent bioelectronic skin devices.
“Although a number of artificial camouflage skin devices have been developed recently, they lack the essential non-centralized neuromorphic processing and cognitive capabilities, and such capabilities lack strong mechanical properties.” Recently developed flexible synaptics have enabled brain-inspired computing and touch. – and the light-sensitive artificial nervous system that retains these neuromorphic functions when expanded bifurcated. A
At the same time to achieve intelligence and scalability, the researchers created synaptic transistors entirely from elastomeric materials. These rubber semiconductors work similarly to neural connections, exchanging critical messages for system-wide needs, unresponsive to physical changes in system structure. According to U, the key to creating a soft-skinned device with cognitive and stretching ability was to use rubber, elastomeric materials for each component. This approach has resulted in a device that can successfully display and maintain neural synaptic behavior, such as image sensing and memory, even when stretched, twisted, and pushed 30% out of a position. Natural rest.
“With the recent wave of skin-smart devices, the application of neuromorphic functions in these devices opens the door to the future towards more powerful biometrics,” U said. Knowledge of smart skin devices can be extrapolated to many more areas, including wearable neuromorphic computing. Devices for the next generation of smart systems, prostheses, soft neurobiotics and skin prostheses. A
The Office of the Naval Research Young Investigator Program and the National Science Foundation supported the work.
Co-authors include Hyunseok Shim, Seonmin Jang, and Shubham Pattel, Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics; Anish Thukral and Bin Kan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston; Seongsik Jeong, Hyeson Jo and Hai-Jin Kim, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, National Gyeongsang University; Guodan Wei, Tsinghua-Berkeley Institute in Shenzhen; And Wei Lan, School of Physical Science and Technology, Lanzhou University.
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Materials provided by Penn State. Original by Mary Fetzer. Note: Content can be edited for style and length.