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TacSense Technology: The first flexible ionized tactile sensing technology, the module is FDA certified, it can monitor human body data accurately and without sense

  • Author:Zhong Qinghong
  • Origin:Arterial network
  • Time of issue:2020-07-09 09:41
  • Views:

【Summary】:How can we make a robot more like a human? Perhaps you will answer, it is to be able to perceive the world, to be able to see, to hear, to be able to speak... But we have all neglected the literal meaning of "perception", which should contain the sense of touch. Human senses are like robot sensors. Only sight and hearing are far from enough.

TacSense Technology: The first flexible ionized tactile sensing technology, the module is FDA certified, it can monitor human body data accurately and without sense

(Summary description)How can we make a robot more like a human? Perhaps you will answer, it is to be able to perceive the world, to be able to see, to hear, to be able to speak... But we have all neglected the literal meaning of "perception", which should contain the sense of touch. Human senses are like robot sensors. Only sight and hearing are far from enough.

  • Categories:Industry news
  • Author:Zhong Qinghong
  • Origin:Arterial network
  • Time of issue:2020-07-09 09:41
  • Views:0

           How can we make a robot more like a human? Perhaps you will answer, it is to be able to perceive the world, to be able to see, to hear, to be able to speak... But we have all neglected the literal meaning of "perception", which should contain the sense of touch. Human senses are like robot sensors. Only sight and hearing are far from enough.
"If the signal received by the human physical senses is set to 100%, the vision focused on the eyeballs occupies about 70%, the hearing focused on the ears only occupies less than 5%, and the tactile signals actually account for the whole body. To 20-25% of the total amount of information", "Due to the importance of vision and the maturity of technology, today we see that artificial intelligence is basically based on the research and application of vision. At the same time, hearing is an important supplementary means, while tactile The development and application of technology lag far behind the former". Professor Pan Tingrui of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis believes that although the current tactile sensing technology has not yet fully reached the stage of full industrial application, "challenges are opportunities. Information will soon surpass a technological critical value. At that time, touch may become the next focus of human intelligent research based on vision.” This may also be one of the reasons for the birth of TacSense Technology.

           The first research team of ionized sensing technology

           Professor Pan Tingrui’s invented ionization sensor technology is more like a scientific encounter. The success can be attributed to Professor Pan’s own academic background: he once studied mechanics at the University of California, Later, he received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and a master's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota. His interdisciplinary background has helped him a lot in this adventure of inventing flexible ionizing sensor technology.
Professor Pan pointed out that as early as 2010, they had invented ionized sensing technology. At that time, Professor Pan had been working in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis for 4 years. While studying the lotus leaf effect, he suddenly got inspiration: why not study the force feedback from the vibration of the water droplets on the lotus leaf when the breeze blows? From the trembling of water droplets to force feedback to highly sensitive sensors, the process experienced is not as simple as imagined.
Common sensors have elastic components in the middle, which will be deformed when they are squeezed. They can be converted into electrical signals through the electromagnetic photothermal effect, thereby combining the force signals with the electrical signals to obtain an intuitive interpretation. The uniqueness of TacSense Technology is that it uses liquid as an elastic body for the first time in the world to form a flexible ionized tactile sensor. The middle also involves the principle of electric double-layer capacitance at the molecular interface, that is, when ions in a liquid meet with electrons in a solid, a huge force is generated and a very strong capacitance signal is generated. Professor Pan proudly said, "We were surprised to find that this increased the sensitivity of traditional capacitive sensing devices by 10,000 times."
Perhaps it is based on Professor Pan’s research contributions to ionized sensing technology. In 2015, he became the youngest full-time full professor in his department. At the same time, he and his team obtained the world’s first patent based on ionized sensing technology. Authorization. In the following years, his leadership team has been working hard to explore the application of ionized sensing technology, conducting in-depth research and analysis from all angles of materials, design, production, and processing technology, and finally successfully developed a solid-state Material flexible ionizing tactile sensor. After unremitting efforts, the mainstream international academic community reached a consensus in 2018 to list ionizing sensing as a new generation (fourth generation) flexible force and tactile sensing mechanism.
In fact, Professor Pan, who sees the huge potential, is not willing to let the technology just stay at the research level. In 2015, Professor Pan established TacSense Technology in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, because the team pays more attention to research, the industrialization landing is not ideal. In 2018, with the help of former classmate Sogou CEO Wang Xiaochuan, Professor Pan re-established contact with another classmate, Dr. Wang Xiaoyang, who is a professional manager, and reached a cooperation with the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. TacSense Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. was established. Today,TacSense Technology uses Shenzhen as its headquarters, sets up offices in Beijing and Chengdu, and uses TacSense Technology in the United States as its R&D center, and the three work together.

           Disconnected tactile sensor: sensitive, thin and non-inductive

           The flexible ionized tactile sensing technology of TacSense Technology obviously not only covers the medical field, but also involves consumer electronics, robots and smart cars. To truly understand the application fields and application scenarios of ionized tactile sensors, we still have to go back to the technical characteristics.
Based on previous sensor research, Professor Pan pointed out that the first-generation resistive sensor has low sensitivity but low cost, only a few cents; the second-generation capacitive sensor has high sensitivity while solving the problem of dynamic response; the third-generation piezoelectric sensor requires Using special materials, deformation can produce voltage, and voltage can also produce deformation, which has higher sensitivity than the former two. But the problem is that "when you hold the cup with your hand, it can measure the pressure at the moment of grasping, but it cannot confirm whether you continue to hold the cup or put it down." Since it can only detect relative changes, it can only detect relative changes. The meeting will be greatly restricted. And it has a higher production cost.
The ionization sensor technology pioneered by Professor Pan has actually gone through many iterations. Initially, they adopted a liquid sensor. "Although it is fun and beautiful, it is not applicable. Moreover, the processing is troublesome. Liquid droplets must be added to each liquid sensor. Technical problems such as force limitation, volume size, and liquid volatilization also need to be solved. "Subsequently, it gradually shifted from the development of liquid sensing materials to a comprehensive solid-state material sensor. Considering that the measurement may require distributed contact surface measurement, they subsequently expanded the sensor from a single-point type to an array type.
Compared with the previous three generations of tactile sensing technology, the advantages of the ionized tactile sensor of TacSense Technology are quite obvious. The first advantage lies in the high transparency of its ionized material, which allows the device module to be covered on the surface of many objects, maintaining the previous material performance and visual synergy; the second advantage lies in the contact interface and functional layer in the sensor, only need With a thickness of 1-2 nanometers, the material can be designed to be quite light and thin, to achieve nanometer-level material coverage, and the manufacturing cost will drop sharply. Ion-electric tactile sensor also has ultra-high device sensitivity, and compared with the same high-sensitivity piezoelectric sensor, its unique self-filtering characteristic makes it have quite strong ability to resist environmental noise and absolute pressure Detection function. The ionized sensor that can sense the force status in real time allows access to more usage scenarios.

           The module has obtained FDA certification, making efforts to monitor human body data

           Professor Pan believes that ionized tactile sensors will be deployed and developed based on the following three directions: 1. Realize electronic skin and digital tactile perception; 2. 2. Realize the digital perception of the internal physiological signals of the human body; 3. Give traditional objects new tactile perception functions. TacSense Technology has also carried out in-depth R&D and experimentation in these directions.
Professor Pan pointed out that digital perception and tactile perception mainly involve the perception of physiological data such as pressure inside and outside the body, blood pressure, intraocular pressure, and pulse. For example, when the gastrointestinal tract is uncomfortable, digital perception observes the effect of gastrointestinal peristalsis. In the past, this could not be measured, but through the use of ionized sensing technology, TacSenseTechnology is cooperating with the world's leading capsule robot manufacturers to create a new generation of capsule robots to monitor gastrointestinal peristalsis; in the field of cardiovascular surgery, Most operations require intubation, but the operation can only be performed based on the doctor's experience, which may cause certain damage. If you have tactile feedback and digital tactile perception capabilities, you can reduce the occurrence of damage; for example, apply it to rehabilitation monitoring of women after childbirth.
For patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and cardiovascular diseases, TacSense Technology can provide a series of physiological data monitoring. Compared with the sensors monitored by the PPG module in the past, the ionization-sensing tactile sensing technology of TacSense Technology has better accuracy, and wearable products using this technology are often insensible when worn. The smart shoe launched by TacSense Technology at CES is the world's first product that can measure heart rate, respiration, blood pressure changes and exercise status. The tactile feedback module in the shoe has obtained FDA certification. Because the relevant muscles on the legs control the movement of the steps, the walking posture and state can even be obtained very accurately through the array sensor. In terms of pulse, TacSense Technology has also done a lot, which can monitor the pulse wave very well. In terms of blood pressure, in the past, it was measured by blocking method, but TacSense Technology allows continuous monitoring of human blood pressure under the method of applying low pressure.

           Wang Xiaoyang quoted the CEO of Huami Technology and emphasized, "If you are serious about health, you will definitely start with sensors." "Currently, the data measured by TacSenseTechnology has higher accuracy. Some people may think that it is redundant. But you don’t know whether one of the high-precision data is related to disease." TacSense Technology uses its small size These data are continuously collected by the intelligent, non-inductive, and precise sensor modules.
           To give traditional objects new tactile perception functions, the rehabilitation of the disabled can be taken as an example. For example, in the process of learning braille, some blind people can directly read the text they touch through tactile feedback. More importantly, turn the surrounding environment into an environment that can provide tactile feedback, so that some people with impaired senses can get convenience. In fact, TacSense Technology has also made some attempts in prosthetic limbs, but how to solve the connection between electrical signals and neural signals is still a problem that needs to be explored for a long time.
In addition, in terms of emotion perception, Professor Pan said that smart glasses that use ionized sensing technology can judge the user's current concentration, fatigue, and physiological signals, and can also monitor nerve signals. For teenagers and old people who are unable to express themselves, they can accurately identify their mood fluctuations through emotional calculations, better help patients, and realize early warning in critical situations.

           Industrialization requires the coordinated development of enterprises

           In fact, TacSense Technology is currently cooperating with some listed companies, such as Shenzhen Lifetech Medical. Some health-grade products are already in the delivery process, and medical-grade sensor products are also in phase III clinical status. For TacSense Technology, they play the role of the underlying technology platform.
TacSense Technology hopes to attract other companies to reach cooperation through the application. In terms of cooperation, provide customized solutions. For example, when users want to study autism or mania, TacSense Technology will choose to start from an academic point of view, first find the corresponding judgment indicators, and determine whether continuous data monitoring of the indicators can be performed through technical analysis. Subsequently, a small-scale test will be conducted, and then a large-scale clinical test will continue to ensure its safety and accuracy.
TacSense Technology is currently making certain attempts in the medical field, and is also exploring whether it can be combined with cardiovascular surgical instruments and endoscopic instruments to empower it in addition to capsule robots. Professor Pan Tingrui said, “It is not enough to have images during the operation. To truly feel the softness and hardness of the tissues, it still needs a certain force feedback from the sensor.” For depression, autism, etc., manufacturers need to give it to them. Yes, it can provide more data monitoring information for the disease before it can finally run off the track.
           Wang Xiaoyang said that although TacSense Technology, as the sponsor of the Medical Sensor Alliance, has certain technical strength and influence, it is not possible for a single company to achieve the landing of the entire industry. This still requires the joint participation of upstream and downstream enterprises, and hopes to reach more companies in the industry to jointly expand the market. At present, TacSense Technology is preparing for the A+ round of financing. While promoting TacSense Technology, it plans to build its own production line to ensure the quality and craftsmanship of mass production, and build a solution team to improve its own products.
Professor Pan Tingrui said, “The future from medical sensing to health data will not be based solely on traditional hospitals and patients, but based on intelligence and the strong relationship between each individual at every moment.” This also means that the future will have a strong relationship. A lot of room for imagination.


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