A spiking and adapting tactile sensor for neuromorphic applications

The ongoing research on and development of increasingly intelligent artificial systems propels the need for bio inspired pressure sensitive spiking circuits. Here we present an adapting and spiking tactile sensor, based on a neuronal model and a piezoelectric field-effect transistor (PiezoFET). The piezoelectric sensor device consists of a metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor comprising a piezoelectric aluminium-scandium-nitride (AlxSc1-xN) layer inside of the gate stack. The so augmented device is sensitive to mechanical stress. In combination with an analogue circuit, this sensor unit is capable of encoding the mechanical quantity into a series of spikes with an ongoing adaptation of the output frequency. This allows for a broad application in the context of robotic and neuromorphic systems, since it enables said systems to receive information from the surrounding environment and provide encoded spike trains for neuromorphic hardware. We present numerical and experimental results on this spiking and adapting tactile sensor.


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