Inventor: Dr. Leo Jiang, Dr. Brian Sheil & Dr. Geyang Song, Construction Engineering & JS2 Innovation
The inventors have developed AI-powered fibre optic sensors to measure forces in a wide variety of contexts. Due to the flexibility and small size of fibre optics, this technique opens up applications outside of the scope of traditional force sensors.
The fibre optics can be placed on the surface or within any structure, to measure the size and direction of forces exerted on the structure as well as the temperature of anything that presses on the structure. This effectively gives the structure a sense of feeling.
The invention has been developed by measuring forces on buildings, tunnels, bridges and wind turbines, and uses AI techniques to process the signal generated by the fibre optics to ensure the accuracy and sensitivity of the approach.
The inventors have founded a start-up called JS2 Innovation, which will focus on using the technology in industrial robots, creating a nerve system that enables the robot to sense its surrounding environment. Their vision is to create a future where machines can sense and interpret their environments just like humans.
The challenge for the i-Team is to explore the potential of fibre-based force sensing technology in the robotics industry, focusing primarily on the context of robotic arms. By speaking to industry experts in multiple markets, the i-Team will investigate the current pain points of force/touch sensing in the industry, existing technologies and alternatives, market size, and routes to market for the adoption of this new technology.