FEB 14, 2020 7:26 PM PST

Device May Help Robots Think Like Humans

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Scientists at the University of Central Florida are closing the gap between human and machine thinking.  According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, the creation of two promising nanomaterials combined into a new superstructure could help create a nanoscale device that can mimic the neural pathways of brain cells used in human vision.

"This is a baby step toward developing neuromorphic computers, which are computer processors that can simultaneously process and memorize information," said Jayan Thomas, an associate professor in UCF's NanoScience Technology Center and Department of Materials Science and Engineering. "This can reduce the processing time as well as the energy required for processing. At some time in the future, this invention may help to make robots that can think like humans."

Researchers also note that a potential application for the technology is for drone-assisted rescues.

"Imagine a drone that can fly without guidance to remote mountain sites and locate stranded mountaineers," says Tania Roy, an assistant professor in UCF's NanoScience Technology Center. "Today it is difficult since these drones need connectivity to remote servers to identify what they scan with their camera eye. Our device makes this drone truly autonomous because it can see just like a human."

Learn more about how robots can be manipulated to think:

 

 

"Earlier research created a camera which captured the image and sent it to a server to be recognized, but our group created a single device that mimics the eye and the brain function together," she said. "Our device can observe the image and recognize it on the spot."

The innovation involves growing nanoscale, light-sensitive perovskite quantum dots on the two-dimensional, atomic thick nanomaterial graphene—which allows photoactive particles to capture light and convert it to electric charges that can directly transfer to the graphene.

"Because of the nature of the superstructure, it shows a light-assisted memory effect," says Basudev Pradhan, who was a Bhaskara Advanced Solar Energy fellow in Thomas' lab and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Energy Engineering at the Central University of Jharkhand in India. "This is similar to humans' vision-related brain cells. The optoelectronic synapses we developed are highly relevant for brain-inspired, neuromorphic computing. This kind of superstructure will definitely lead to new directions in development of ultrathin optoelectronic devices."

Sonali Das, a postdoctoral fellow in Roy's lab, says that there are also potential defense applications for the technology

"Such features can also be used for aiding the vision of soldiers on the battlefield," she said. "Further, our device can sense, detect and reconstruct an image along with extremely low power consumption, which makes it capable for long-term deployment in field applications."

"The facial recognition experiment was a preliminary test to check our optoelectronic neuromorphic computing," Thomas said. "Since our device mimics vision-related brain cells, facial recognition is one of the most important tests for our neuromorphic building block."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
SEP 27, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Nudging Closer to a Sustainable Future
SEP 27, 2021
Nudging Closer to a Sustainable Future
Attitudes toward sustainable solutions have rapidly changed in the last few decades as environmental issues like climate ...
OCT 07, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Computational Crystal Ball Predicts Which COVID Variants Are More Dangerous
OCT 07, 2021
Computational Crystal Ball Predicts Which COVID Variants Are More Dangerous
Viruses are natures shapeshifters; their genomes are in a constant state of flux as they divide in their hosts. Over tim ...
NOV 08, 2021
Technology
Violent Video Games Can Make Players More Aggressive, Just Not Towards Other People
NOV 08, 2021
Violent Video Games Can Make Players More Aggressive, Just Not Towards Other People
Do violent video games cause players to initiate real-life acts of aggression and violence? The question is one that&rsq ...
NOV 15, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Injectable Therapy Reverses Paralysis within 4 Weeks
NOV 15, 2021
Injectable Therapy Reverses Paralysis within 4 Weeks
Researchers have developed an injectable therapy that can repair tissue damage and reverse paralysis in mice within four ...
NOV 18, 2021
Immunology
Ultrasound Helps Shuttle Cancer-Killing Antibodies to the Brain
NOV 18, 2021
Ultrasound Helps Shuttle Cancer-Killing Antibodies to the Brain
Antibody therapies harness the immune system's power to fight a broad spectrum of diseases, from cancer to infectiou ...
NOV 25, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Cactus Spines Inspire Diagnostic Tools Without the Prick
NOV 25, 2021
Cactus Spines Inspire Diagnostic Tools Without the Prick
Did you know that there are over 1700 species of cacti—spiny plants that have evolved to survive some of the harsh ...
Loading Comments...