Wootzano

Atif Syed
RAEng 1851 Enterprise Fellow 2018

Atif Syed
Wootzano Ltd

Wootzano Ltd aims to develop and manufacture

The project aims to develop a novel type of electronic skin (e-Skin) for use in robotics applications. Currently, robots lack the ability to feel objects in the same way as humans do, which makes them unable to handle delicate objects or tell their consistencies. Although robots rely on various sensors to sense their surroundings and the objects they interact with, none are able to measure pressure/force as precisely as human skin. Skin is an immensely complex organ, but the ability to sense touch comes from its nerve endings, which are extremely sensitive and numerous.

So far attempts to create a commercial e-Skin that would give robots a human-like sense of ‘touch’ have been unsuccessful. Wootzano Ltd has invented a novel piezoelectric nanocomposite sensing material called Nanflx. This is being used to create a highly sensitive, flexible, and mass-producible e-Skin called Wootzkin to address this problem. We make use of standard microfabrication processing such as photolithography to make thousands of our sensors. Additionally, our offerings also include machine learning algorithms which we can connect within a distributed cloud system. This allows different customers to have a tailored subscription model.

One market where this will be especially useful is online grocery retail, where robots are not able to distinguish between ripe and unripe fruits and vegetables yet. Furthermore, robots are not able to grasp a delicate object accurately without bruising or damaging them. We have since then acquired our first customer who is the world’s largest and most high-tech online grocer, Ocado, to manufacture and integrate Wootzkin into Ocado’s robots.

 

“robots lack the ability to feel objects in the same way as humans do"