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Neurocomputing-based electronic devices - ICT and health

Neurocomputing-based electronic devices – ICT and health

He. She research It is a partnership between Eindhoven University of Technology and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. The focus is on the actual application of artificial synapses and neural computing developed in the laboratory.

Artificial synapses

Synapses are the flexible connections that allow individual neurons in our brains to communicate with each other. Artificial synapses are made of organic polymers that the human body can tolerate. Because researchers eventually want to use them in applications on the body itself: a smart prosthetic or measuring device that can adapt to the body.

Krausen: “I started by training a single synapse in a Lego robot. It had to find the exit from the maze itself while learning. I showed the robot pieces of brightly colored paper: turn left if you see this signal, turn right if this signal is absent. And with this In this way, the robot was eventually able to find its way autonomously through different mazes. These are the first steps, for example, for a rescue or space robot; any situation in which the robot needs to be able to act independently and adapt to a new environment, but when… A large battery is impractical.

Neural computing

Our brain has long been used as an example for developing a new generation of computer systems. Last year, another TU/e ​​researcher, Evelyn van Dorimele, developed a smart chip that can be used in various applications in the human body. Many other places are also investigating how implants can help people. A famous example of this is Elon Musk's company Neuralink, which implanted a brain implant it developed into its first test subject at the beginning of this year.

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Krahausen explains that as we increasingly use smart devices and artificial intelligence, we also need new, more energy-efficient computer technology. “Our brains are super efficient. They only consume 20 watts per hour to do very complex tasks. Even the most innovative supercomputer doesn't come close to achieving that. Our brain is a great source of inspiration.”

Organic computer chips

Traditionally, computer chips are composed of silicon and metals. However, the TU/e ​​Neuromorphic Engineering research group works on an organic system containing water and salt, based on the example of our brain. In the brain, synapses can transmit electrical signals thanks to an innovative system of salt-gated salts and channels. The electronic circuits used by Krauthausen also contain such a salt channel.

“Think in small terms, about 100 to 200 micrometres. So there's a lot of microscopy work in cleanrooms. Within our group we work with many researchers on different aspects of the same artificial neuron system. This ranges from developing new organic materials and developing new algorithms to… Adjusting the mechanical behavior of the device.