A frequency modulation-based taxel array: A bio-inspired architecture for large-scale artificial skin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


This work introduces an array prototype based on a Frequency Modulation (FM) encoding architecture to transfer multiple sensor signals on a single wire. The use case presented adopts Hall-effect sensors as an example to represent a much larger range of sensor types (e.g., proximity and temperature). This work aims to contribute to large area artificial skin systems which are a key element to enhance robotic platforms. Artificial skin will allow robotic platforms to have spatial awareness which will make interaction with objects and users safe. The FM-based architecture has been developed to address limitations in large-scale artificial skin scalability. Scalability issues include power requirements; number of wires needed; as well as frequency, density, and sensitivity bottlenecks. In this work, eight sensor signals are simultaneously acquired, transferred on a single wire and decoded in real-time. The overall taxel array current consumption is 36 mA. The work experimentally validates and demonstrates that different input signals can be effectively transferred using this approach minimizing wiring and power consumption of the taxel array. Four different tests using single as well as multiple stimuli are presented. Observations on performances, noise, and taxel array behaviour are reported. The results show that the taxel array is reliable and effective in detecting the applied stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5112
Issue number15
Early online date28 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Artificial skin
  • Modular robotics
  • Tactile sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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