ph-Coding : Haptics become richer through next generation ultra-intuitive user interfaces

ph-coding aims at founding the next generation ultra-intuitive user interfaces, through a new branch of neuroscience and et providing the first exploitation of predictive coding principles in technological solutions for human haptic interactions. Most haptic interactions involves a very large number of widespread skin sensors that provide information mutually modulated by both the skin mechanics and the interaction of the skin with objects. Predictive coding  provides a principled computational approach able to extract perceptual information of the raw sensory signals. Conversely it will inform the designers of haptic interfaces of methods require to synthesise and transduce the signals that can elicit desired percepts that can be experience without training or habituation. The specific work-packages are to (1) Characterise the brain’s computational mechanisms for decoding sensor population signals (2) Develop a predictive coding model to extract stable haptic percepts despite variability in the sensory signals, and demonstrate it in a robotic implementation (3) Design and fabricate a soft artificial eSKIN based on bendable electronics integrating a variety of micro-/nano-sensors (4) Demonstrate the transmission of ultra-rich haptic information to a remote user via novel active haptic interfaces. Carried out by leading neuroscience, nanotechnology and robotics groups and an SME at the forefront of haptics technology, this ground-breaking research will usher a new generation of passive and active devices enabling human-like, robust and rich interaction with objects, devices and robots.

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