Self-Cognizant Bionic Liquid Sensor for Pathogen DiagnosisRead the full article
The Open Access journal Cyborg and Bionic Systems, published in association with BIT, promotes the knowledge interchange and hybrid system codesign between living beings and robotic systems.
Cyborg and Bionic Systems’ editorial board is led by Toshio Fukuda (Beijing Institute of Technology) and is comprised of experts who have made significant and well recognized contributions to the field.
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Pt/CNT Micro-Nanorobots Driven by Glucose Catalytic Decomposition
Swimming micro-nanorobots have attracted researchers’ interest in potential medical applications on target therapy, biosensor, drug carrier, and others. At present, the experimental setting of the swimming micro-nanorobots was mainly studied in pure water or H2O2 solution. This paper presents a micro-nanorobot that applied glucose in human body fluid as driving fuel. Based on the catalytic properties of the anode and cathode materials of the glucose fuel cell, platinum (Pt) and carbon nanotube (CNT) were selected as the anode and cathode materials, respectively, for the micro-nanorobot. The innovative design adopted the method of template electrochemical and chemical vapor deposition to manufacture the Pt/CNT micro-nanorobot structure. Both the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) were employed to observe the morphology of the sample, and its elements were analyzed by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Through a large number of experiments in a glucose solution and according to Stoker’s law of viscous force and Newton’s second law, we calculated the driving force of the fabricated micro-nanorobot. It was concluded that the structure of the Pt/CNT micro-nanorobot satisfied the required characteristics of both biocompatibility and motion.
Human Somatosensory Processing and Artificial Somatosensation
In the past few years, we have gained a better understanding of the information processing mechanism in the human brain, which has led to advances in artificial intelligence and humanoid robots. However, among the various sensory systems, studying the somatosensory system presents the greatest challenge. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the human somatosensory system and its corresponding applications in artificial systems. Due to the uniqueness of the human hand in integrating receptor and actuator functions, we focused on the role of the somatosensory system in object recognition and action guidance. First, the low-threshold mechanoreceptors in the human skin and somatotopic organization principles along the ascending pathway, which are fundamental to artificial skin, were summarized. Second, we discuss high-level brain areas, which interacted with each other in the haptic object recognition. Based on this close-loop route, we used prosthetic upper limbs as an example to highlight the importance of somatosensory information. Finally, we present prospective research directions for human haptic perception, which could guide the development of artificial somatosensory systems.
Application of Interactive Video Games as Rehabilitation Tools to Improve Postural Control and Risk of Falls in Prefrail Older Adults
The purpose of this study was to examine whether interactive video game (IVG) training is an effective way to improve postural control outcomes and decrease the risk of falls. A convenience sample of 12 prefrail older adults were recruited and divided into two groups: intervention group performed IVG training for 40 minutes, twice per week, for a total of 16 sessions. The control group received no intervention and continued their usual activity. Outcome measures were centre of pressure (COP), mean velocity, sway area, and sway path. Secondary outcomes were Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I), and Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC). Assessment was conducted with preintervention (week zero) and postintervention (week eight). The intervention group showed significant improvement in mean velocity, sway area, Berg Balance Scale, and TUG () compared to the control group. However, no significant improvement was observed for sway path (), FES-I (), and ABC (). This study showed that IVG training led to significant improvements in postural control but not for risk of falls.
Survey on Main Drive Methods Used in Humanoid Robotic Upper Limbs
Humanoid robotic upper limbs including the robotic hand and robotic arm are widely studied as the important parts of a humanoid robot. A robotic upper limb with light weight and high output can perform more tasks. The drive system is one of the main factors affecting the weight and output of the robotic upper limb, and therefore, the main purpose of this study is to compare and analyze the effects of the different drive methods on the overall structure. In this paper, we first introduce the advantages and disadvantages of the main drive methods such as tendon, gear, link, fluid (hydraulic and pneumatic), belt, chain, and screw drives. The design of the drive system is an essential factor to allow the humanoid robotic upper limb to exhibit the structural features and functions of the human upper limb. Therefore, the specific applications of each drive method on the humanoid robotic limbs are illustrated and briefly analyzed. Meanwhile, we compared the differences in the weight and payload (or grasping force) of the robotic hands and robotic arms with different drive methods. The results showed that the tendon drive system is easier to achieve light weight due to its simple structure, while the gear drive system can achieve a larger torque ratio, which results in a larger output torque. Further, the weight of the actuator accounts for a larger proportion of the total weight, and a reasonable external placement of the actuator is also beneficial to achieve light weight.
Noninvasive Human-Prosthesis Interfaces for Locomotion Intent Recognition: A Review
The lower-limb robotic prostheses can provide assistance for amputees’ daily activities by restoring the biomechanical functions of missing limb(s). To set proper control strategies and develop the corresponding controller for robotic prosthesis, a prosthesis user’s intent must be acquired in time, which is still a major challenge and has attracted intensive attentions. This work focuses on the robotic prosthesis user’s locomotion intent recognition based on the noninvasive sensing methods from the recognition task perspective (locomotion mode recognition, gait event detection, and continuous gait phase estimation) and reviews the state-of-the-art intent recognition techniques in a lower-limb prosthesis scope. The current research status, including recognition approach, progress, challenges, and future prospects in the human’s intent recognition, has been reviewed. In particular for the recognition approach, the paper analyzes the recent studies and discusses the role of each element in locomotion intent recognition. This work summarizes the existing research results and problems and contributes a general framework for the intent recognition based on lower-limb prosthesis.
Origami Folding by Multifingered Hands with Motion Primitives
Origami, a traditional Japanese art, is an example of superior handwork produced by human hands. Achieving such extreme dexterity is one of the goals of robotic technology. In the work described in this paper, we developed a new general-purpose robot system with sufficient capabilities for performing Origami. We decomposed the complex folding motions into simple primitives and generated the overall motion as a combination of these primitives. Also, to measure the paper deformation in real-time, we built an estimator using a physical simulator and a depth camera. As a result, our experimental system achieved consecutive valley folds and a squash fold.