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Seminar 3/28/2012 - Princeton Global Scholar Takao Someya, University of Tokyo: Robotic E-Skins

Abstract: What happens if robots gain tactile sensitivity that is similar to human skin? Robots will be able to touch babies and/or elderly persons more gently, resulting in robots being viewed as safer beings around humans when doing as they undertake housework and taking care of look after the elderly. Furthermore, robots with sensitive skins can feel and even respond to a person's warmth while shaking hands, consequently letting people feel that robots are warmer.

Soon, flexible electronics will be exploited to manufacture electronic artificial skins or e-skins, which are sheet-type sensory arrays, enabling robots to obtain human-like skin sensitivity. The recent breakthrough technologies that enable this include flexible thin-film transistors, which can be easily formed by inkjet and/or other printing processes. Organic integrated circuits can be wrapped around a cylindrical bar with a 0.1 mm diameter and can even be stretched by 70% without causing any mechanical and/or electronic damage.

Bio: Takao Someya received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1997. In 1997, he joined Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), the University of Tokyo, as a Research Associate and was appointed to be a Lecturer of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), the University of Tokyo, in 1998, and an Associate Professor of RCAST in 2001, an Associate Professor of the Department of Applied Physics in 2002. From 2001 to 2003, he worked for the Nanocenter (NSEC) of Columbia University and Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, as a Visiting Scholar. Since April 2009, he has been a Professor of the Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering, the University of Tokyo. His current research interests include organic transistors, flexible electronics, plastic integrated circuits, large-area sensors, and plastic actuators. Dr. Someya is an IEEE/EDS Distinguished Lecturer since 2004 and a recipient of 2004 IEEE/ISSCC Sugano Award and 2005 IEEE/ESD Paul Rappaport Award. Dr. Someya's large-area sensor array”electronic thin film was featured in Time Magazine as one of its 'Best Inventions of 2005' in its November 21st issue.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.

Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium

Date/Time: 03/28/12 at 12:00 pm - 03/28/12 at 1:00 pm

Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series

Department: PRISM