Start Date: 1 October 2021
Electronic skins (e-skins) find many exciting applications in robotics, sensing and biomedicine. E-skins are designed to mimic the performance of human skin or provide sensing capabilities beyond the human skin abilities. E-skin employs various sensors to measure ambient physical characteristics such as pressure, forces and strain, temperature, light intensity, proximity and composition of objects. In future, e-skins may provide advanced sensing capabilities including chemical sensing of the surfaces. The design of e-skins presents significant challenges in terms of materials, devices, sophisticated integration methods, and interference-free data acquisition. These challenges range from functional materials, device architecture, pixel design, array structure, and data acquisition method to multimodal sensing performance with electromagnetic interference. A number of novel approaches to solve these e-skin design challenges will be adopted in this project, including smart sensors, analogue and neuromorphic tactile data processing and wireless sensor networking. The developed e-skins will be employed in robotics, humanoid artificial skins, sensing for automation and prosthetic devices.
This project aims at the development of the multimodal tactile sensor e-skin technology on semi-flexible, flexible and stretchable platforms and smart microwave antennas used as sensor pixels.
A major advancement of the existing e-skin technology will be in the way the sensor receptors communicate with a processing centre. This communication will be organized in a similar way to human brain processing of the tactile information however the parallel data streams will be replaced with a serial communication resulting in the e-skin communication network size and power reduction.
A number of solutions to flexible and stretchable electronic platforms will be explored to design an optimal e-skin smart sensor pixel. Next, the sensor pixel arrays will be designed based on the antenna array and wireless sensor networking principles. Finally, the neuromorphic data processing principles will be employed to design and build a complete e-skin prototype. This e-skin prototypes will be evaluated in robotic sensing scenarios.
The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS) aims to enhance the way we use technology in communication, data science, computing systems, cyber security, power electronics, intelligent control, and many related areas.
You’ll be part of a dynamic doctoral research environment and will study alongside students from over 40 countries worldwide; we supervise students undertaking research in key areas of electronics and electrical engineering, including: power electronics,robotics, wireless communications, cybersecurity and sensor-based systems. As part of a lively community of over 100 full-time and part-time research students you’ll have the opportunity to develop your research potential in a vibrant research community that prioritises the cross-fertilisation of ideas and innovation in the advancement of knowledge.
Within the School we have a number of specialist research centres including a Global Research Institute, the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) specialising in Cyber Security, Wireless Innovation and Data Science and scalable computing.
Many PhD studentships attract scholarships and top-up supplements. PhD programmes provide our students with the opportunity to acquire an extensive training in research techniques.
Research students are encouraged to play a full and active role in relation to the wide range of research activities undertaken within the School and there are many resources available including:
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