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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Aug 2020 - 21 Aug 2020

2020 Aug 12

Nat Commun



Self healable neuromorphic memtransistor elements for decentralized sensory signal processing in robotics.


John R A, Tiwari N, Patdillah M I B, Kulkarni M R, Tiwari N, Basu J, Bose S K, Bose S K, Yu C J, Nirmal A, Vishwanath S K, Bartolozzi C, Basu A, Mathews N
Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 12; 11(1):4030.
PMID: 32788588.


Sensory information processing in robot skins currently rely on a centralized approach where signal transduction (on the body) is separated from centralized computation and decision-making, requiring the transfer of large amounts of data from periphery to central processors, at the cost of wiring, latency, fault tolerance and robustness. We envision a decentralized approach where intelligence is embedded in the sensing nodes, using a unique neuromorphic methodology to extract relevant information in robotic skins. Here we specifically address pain perception and the association of nociception with tactile perception to trigger the escape reflex in a sensorized robotic arm. The proposed system comprises self-healable materials and memtransistors as enabling technologies for the implementation of neuromorphic nociceptors, spiking local associative learning and communication. Configuring memtransistors as gated-threshold and -memristive switches, the demonstrated system features in-memory edge computing with minimal hardware circuitry and wiring, and enhanced fault tolerance and robustness.