Journal: Nature Communications
Affiliations: 5Go to article
Speeding up robot response times
© Yuichiro Chino/Getty
Self-healing robots that can respond to sensations faster will be better suited for working in challenging environments.
Most robots operate in controlled environments, but increasingly robots will work in less predictable environments alongside people. To do this, they will need to respond to sensations faster.
Sensors on robots usually send signals to a central processing unit for processing, but this approach has two disadvantages: it is slow because sensors are far from the processing unit and it susceptible to damage if wires are severed.
Now, a team of researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, has overcome both problems by using sensors connected to many processing units. They also used a self-healing gel that allows robots to recover lost functions by themselves.
Since the signal processing occurs locally, the response times of the robot was cut by a factor of five to ten compared to conventional robots, the researchers claim.
- Nature Communications 11, 4030 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17870-6