The sense of touch is one of the most important ways to:
- discover the environment
- differentiate soft and hard surfaces
- operate delicate objects.
Our research group has successfully fabricated a new class of soft tactile sensors that combines the electroluminescence and photo-sensing modes of multifunctional diodes with a flexible elastomer capable of creating intelligent skin. Using this approach, we now aim to integrate this technology with modern medical, social and industrial robots.
In this project you'll investigate the development of a flexible and stretchable smart robotic skin with the ability to self-power under ambient lighting conditions. This research work will be part of our ongoing projects that are primarily focused on soft and stretchable electronic skin (e-skin) and energy-autonomous systems using organic optoelectronic technology developed at QUT.
You'll learn to fabricate and characterise optoelectronic arrays in form of smart e-skins. You'll conduct research into analysing its suitability for robotic and bionic applications, including stretchability over a large area. The electrical and mechanical performance of the device will also be tested for different deformation levels. Driving the smart skin as an energy-autonomous system will be focus of this research along with efforts to optimise and integrate it with a robotic/bionic hand.
The major activity is the thin film-based fabrication of smart robotic skin with focus on:
- how mechanical properties affects e-skin performance
- the design aspects required to maintain high sensitivity to pressure, position and surface deformation
- designing an optoelectronic array in a format that allows ambient light conversion into power
- efforts that lead to a self-powered robotic skin
- evaluation of the e-skin performance for robotic and bionic application.
This study aims to develop a prototype optoelectronic e-skin fabrication and characterisation as well as gather precise data from all procedures. This includes:
- compression-stretch testing
- 3D surface analysis
- illumination exposure testing
- energy autonomous capacity.
New knowledge on experimental variables including tensile strain (stretchability), photovoltaic solar efficiency (PVE) and time (hours of sustainable energy autonomous performance) will be tested.
Skills and experience
You'll be particularly suited for this project if you have skills and interest in materials science, optoelectronics and robotics.
You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.
Contact the supervisor for more information.