Indian-origin Scientist Researching on New Robotics Technology
LONDON: An Indian-origin scientist in the UK has bagged a 1.07 million pounds funding grant to work on a pioneering technology of creating an ultra-flexible tactile skin for robotics and prosthetics.
Dr Ravinder Dahiya has got the grant from Britain's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to work on the technology that could enable a robot not only to carry a cup of tea to an elderly person but can also sense whether it is too hot to handle.
Dahiya, who joined the University of Glasgow last year as a senior lecturer in electronic and nanoscale engineering, is one of the leading academics from 10 UK universities to have been awarded a total of 13 million pounds to maintain the UK's research leadership in three areas - Advanced Materials, Robotic and Autonomous Systems and Synthetic Biology.
Until now, no robotics scientist has been able to create ultra-flexible tactile skin. Either the sensor has been too big or the electronics not sufficiently flexible.
However, Dahiya believes he is on the cusp of a breakthrough and that he has found a way of incorporating electronics and sensors on bendable silicon-based surfaces that will be 50 micrometres thick - thinner than the aluminium foil we use every day.
He will be working in collaboration with Professor Duncan Gregory, Chair in Inorganic Materials in the School of Chemistry, on the creation of silicon based nanostructures such as nanowires which are printed on bendable substrates in a manner that will eventually lead to flexible electronic or tactile skin with distributed sensors and electronics.