Research ArticleENGINEERING

Stretchable elastic synaptic transistors for neurologically integrated soft engineering systems

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Science Advances  11 Oct 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 10, eaax4961
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax4961


Artificial synaptic devices that can be stretched similar to those appearing in soft-bodied animals, such as earthworms, could be seamlessly integrated onto soft machines toward enabled neurological functions. Here, we report a stretchable synaptic transistor fully based on elastomeric electronic materials, which exhibits a full set of synaptic characteristics. These characteristics retained even the rubbery synapse that is stretched by 50%. By implementing stretchable synaptic transistor with mechanoreceptor in an array format, we developed a deformable sensory skin, where the mechanoreceptors interface the external stimulations and generate presynaptic pulses and then the synaptic transistors render postsynaptic potentials. Furthermore, we demonstrated a soft adaptive neurorobot that is able to perform adaptive locomotion based on robotic memory in a programmable manner upon physically tapping the skin. Our rubbery synaptic transistor and neurologically integrated devices pave the way toward enabled neurological functions in soft machines and other applications.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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