Science AMA Series: We are SynTouch, engineers making tactile sensors
that rival the human fingertip. We capture the sense of Touch, and use
it to quantify product feel, build adaptive robotic and prosthetics
hands, and drive VR haptic displays. AMA!
We are SynTouch: the world leader in the technology of human touch. We
invented the only sensor in the world that endows machines with the
ability to replicate the human sense of touch. We call this emerging
field Machine Touch. Like machine vision, it requires a combination of
sensors and algorithms to take a human sense, capture it and allow us to
do useful things with tactile information. One core application of our
technology is quantifying dimensions of touch - we’ve created a taxonomy
called the SynTouch Standard® that consists of fifteen dimensions humans
feel. The information is captured by our BioTac Toccare® which
Automakers, Apparel and Consumer Electronics companies use to define and
improve the haptics of their products. Analogous to the use of digital
color meters to capture RGB values and drive product manufacturing
decisions to ensure they ‘look right’, our technology provides
information to ensure products ‘feel right’. Our technology also
functions as the input for haptic displays for VR and telerobotics. This
allows us to drive haptic displays with real-world data for anything
from a surgical robot to a gaming device – and we’ve worked with both!
We’re also pursuing long-term projects to command robotic hands with
tactile sense and reflexes. Our sensors allow robot hands to handle
fragile objects better than currently available systems – one prime use
case that we’re pursing now deploying this technology in prosthetics to
allow amputees to handle fragile objects without dropping or crushing
them. SynTouch was founded in 2008 by Professor Gerald Loeb, and Ph.D.
students Matthew Borzage, Jeremy Fishel, and Nicholas Wettels who were
at the University of Southern California. We’ve been recognized by
Popular Mechanics, The Robot Report, and the World Economic
Forum… Happy to answer more questions, but we’re getting busier
with foot traffic right now. Thank you for your interest!