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Title: An artificial somatic reflex arc
Authors: He, Ke
Liu, Yaqing
Wang, Ming
Chen, Geng
Jiang, Ying
Yu, Jiancan
Wan, Changjin
Qi, Dianpeng
Xiao, Meng
Leow, Wan Ru
Yang, Hui
Antonietti, Markus
Chen, Xiaodong
Keywords: Engineering::Mechanical engineering::Bio-mechatronics
Issue Date: 2020
Source: He, K., Liu, Y., Wang, M., Chen, G., Jiang, Y., Yu, J., . . . Chen, X. (2020). An artificial somatic reflex arc. Advanced Materials, 32(4), 1905399-. doi:10.1002/adma.201905399
Journal: Advanced Materials 
Abstract: The emulation of human sensation, perception, and action processes has become a major challenge for bioinspired intelligent robotics, interactive human-machine interfacing, and advanced prosthetics. Reflex actions, enabled through reflex arcs, are important for human and higher animals to respond to stimuli from environment without the brain processing and survive the risks of nature. An artificial reflex arc system that emulates the functions of the reflex arc simplifies the complex circuit design needed for "central-control-only" processes and becomes a basic electronic component in an intelligent soft robotics system. An artificial somatic reflex arc that enables the actuation of electrochemical actuators in response to the stimulation of tactile pressures is reported. Only if the detected pressure by the pressure sensor is above the stimulus threshold, the metal-organic-framework-based threshold controlling unit (TCU) can be activated and triggers the electrochemical actuators to complete the motion. Such responding mechanism mimics the all-or-none law in the human nervous system. As a proof of concept, the artificial somatic reflex arc is successfully integrated into a robot to mimic the infant grasp reflex. This work provides a unique and simplifying strategy for developing intelligent soft robotics, next-generation human-machine interfaces, and neuroprosthetics.
ISSN: 0935-9648
DOI: 10.1002/adma.201905399
Schools: School of Materials Science and Engineering 
Organisations: Innovative Centre for Flexible Devices 
Max Planck-NTU Joint Lab for Artificial Senses 
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: He, K., Liu, Y., Wang, M., Chen, G., Jiang, Y., Yu, J., . . . Chen, X. (2020). An artificial somatic reflex arc. Advanced Materials, 32(4), 1905399-, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MSE Journal Articles

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