Researchers create biomimetic forebrain for 3D robots

A team of researchers is to develop a biomimetic forebrain for controlling 3D-printed robot hands with a sense of touch. Their aim is to create a biomimetic forebrain based on computer modelling of a mammal’s neural system that communicates touch in humans and animals, and use this to perform general manipulation tasks in robots.

The five-year research program on ‘A biomimetic forebrain for robot touch’ will apply leading neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of the brain to develop a biomimetic forebrain embodied on a 3D-printed robot hand, aiming for human-like tactile dexterity.

The Tactile Robotics research group at Bristol Robotics Laboratory works on an open-source 3D-printed fingertip, which can ‘feel’ in a similar way to the human sense of touch, has won Harvard University’s international Soft Robotics competition for its contribution to soft robotics research.

A 3D-printed tactile robot hand from the group is on display in the Robots exhibition at the Science Museum in London.