Robots with “Mini-brains” powered by AI


Scientists around the globe have been trying to figure out ways to ensure safe interaction between robots and humans. And now they are one step closer with the new AI-powered mini-brains that enable the robots to understand the pain and repair themselves. The scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) came up with this AI-based solution.

NTU Singapore is very well known for its research excellence as well as the technological innovation that behold top rank among the world’s universities. They are also one of the two oldest public (autonomous) research universities in Singapore. NTU has made significant contributions in various research fields and promotes research widely.

This solution includes the use of AI at different points of the sensor network on the robotic skin with multiple processing units present. These small processing units work similarly to mini-brains. Scientists use an electronic brain-like device known as memtransistors which plays the role of ‘artificial’ pain receptors. 

The sensors which are AI-enabled will help robots to understand and react to the pain that is caused by external pressure. Additionally, it will also lead to detect its minor damages and to repair itself. The feature of self-repair uses an ion gel material that lets the robot recover its mechanical functioning at times of minor harm or damage. This technology imitates the wound healing mechanism of human skin.

The scientists claimed that the use of network sensors can reduce the wiring requisites and will lead the robots to locally learn and process. This can cut short the response time of the robots by five to ten times when compared to the usual robots. This work proves that it is possible to efficiently process information with less wiring. The scientists have deployed electronic devices named ” Memtranisitors” which actually replicates the functionality of the brain. These memtansistors are in turn helps to train the robots.

The scientists are hoping that their dream of humans and robots working and interacting together safely will come true. This will lead to life-changing or in other words revolutionary changes in robotic science, artificial intelligence in general, and AIoT in particular.


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