Biomimetic Process

SynTouch technology is inspired by human biology. Humans perceive how objects feel by making carefully chosen exploratory movements with fingers that have highly evolved mechanical properties and multimodal sensors. Our BioTac Toccare™ integrates the Machine Touch version of all three with an algorithm that extracts human-like Dimensions of Touch.

  • Exploratory Movements: You spent your life refining your repertoire of exploratory movements. We built a robotic instrument that duplicates them with unprecedented precision and smoothness.
  • Fingertip Mechanics: Your fingertip has an elastic skin with a fingernail and fingerprints overlying a displaceable pulp and carefully shaped bone. We figured out how each of those features affects its interactions with objects and we built a fingertip that has all those essential properties.
  • Multimodal Sensors: Your fingertip has hundreds of delicate neural receptors for mechanical deformation of the skin, vibrations induced by sliding contact and heat flow between your warm fingers and the objects you touch. We figured out how to sense all the same things.
  • Neurally Inspired Algorithm: You integrate your exploratory movements with your tactile sensors to extract percepts of touch that you describe in a rich vocabulary. Our algorithm mirrors this to extract the 15 Dimensions of Touch.

Quantifying Touch

The SynTouch Standard Dimensions

There are currently 15 standard, trademarked dimensions; Each dimension is presented below with its formal abbreviation.


Macrotexture (mTX) – The intensity of large features (>1mm spacing) that creates the perception of texture ranging from smooth to textured.

Macrotexture Coarseness (mCO) – The perceived spacing of large features (>1mm spacing), ranging from fine to coarse.

Macrotexture Regularity (mRG) – The perceived uniformity of large features, ranging from random to regular.


Microtexture Roughness (uRO) – The intensity of small features (<1mm spacing) that creates the perception of roughness ranging from smooth to rough

Microtexture Coarseness (uCO) – The perceived spacing of small features (<1mm spacing), ranging from fine to coarse.


Tactile Stiction (fST) – The effort required to initiate sliding on a surface, ranging from low grip to high grip.

Sliding Resistance (fRS) – The effort required to continue sliding over a surface, ranging from slippery to resistive.


Tactile Compliance (cCM) – The degree that a surface deforms under pressure, from rigid to compliant.

Local Deformation (cDF) – The degree to which the surface wraps around the fingertip when being deformed, ranging stays flat to high wrap.

Damping (cDP) – The speed that a surface returns to its original shape after being deformed, ranging from springy to damped.

Relaxation (cRX) – The degree to which a surface stops pushing back after being deformed, ranging from maintains force to relaxes.

Yielding (cYD) – The degree to which a surface remains deformed after being pressed, ranging from recovers shape to stays deformed.


Thermal Cooling (tCO) – The initial rate that a surface draws heat from the fingertip, ranging from warm to cool.

Thermal Persistence (tPR) – The extent that a surface continues to draw heat from the fingertip, ranging from transient cooling to sustained cooling.


Adhesive Tack (aTK) – The effort required to break contact with a surface, ranging from no adhesion to sticky.

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Tactile Evaluation Systems

Leverage the power of SynTouch technology by investing in a BioTac Toccare™ to increase profitability and save time. Test different materials at the touch of a button to boost quality control, reduce sourcing costs, eliminate the need for touch focus groups, and make your R&D staff more productive.

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Tactile Evaluation Services

Whether you’d like to see our technology in action before buying your very own BioTac Toccare™, or simply need a quick test of your materials, we can help. With our Tactile Evaluation Service, all you need to do is send us the materials you’d like to test and we’ll take care of the rest.

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Tell Us About Your Application

We are experts when it comes to quantifying the complexities of human touch. We can help you find innovative applications for our technology and even create customized solutions for your needs. Drop us a note and tell us how we can help!

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