Allowing machines to experience the power of human touch
By Creator Fund | August 1, 2022
Skin is the biggest organ in the human body. It is how we feel temperature, pressure, and make sense of much of the world around us. Robots lack the power of touch, which stops them from performing a large number of human activities.
Touchlab’s e-skin changes this.
Why electronic skin?
Touchlab’s electronic skin allows machines to feel like humans. Robots in warehouses can use e-skin to recognise and sort objects automatically, robotic doctors can take a patient’s pulse, and Touchlab allows gamers to feel the worlds they are immersed in. Robots with e-skin can also be used for nuclear decontamination to avoid human exposure, and even sense atmospheric conditions in space.
Team: Touchlab is led by Zaki Hussein, a PhD in intelligent sensing and measurement at Edinburgh University. Before Creator Fund’s investment, Zaki had bootstrapped the company and developed his electronic skin without external investment.
“If we create avatars of ourselves that have the power to touch, man can fuse with machine, and not only control it, but enhance ourselves beyond what is naturally possible."
Why CF invested
Touchlab exemplifies what Creator Fund looks for in a company.
It is based on world-leading university innovation, led by a founder with deep domain expertise, and has clear commercial traction. It has positive tailwinds from Covid-19 accelerating the need for machines to take over human activities. The founder has shown he can both sell large enterprise contracts today, and has the big vision for how e skin can transform the world in the long term.
Traction: Touchlab has sold £150,000+ of their electronic skin into one of the largest retailers in the United Kingdom. Robotic sorters in the retailer’s warehouses use e-skin to recognise different types of merchandise through touch and then sort them automatically.
Touchlab is one of just 15 finalists competing for the £10 million ANA Avatar XPrize.