Robotics & Prosthetics

Sensor technology that replicates human touch.

SynTouch produces two sensors for robotics and prosthetic-hand applications.

The sensor that paved the way to machine touch

Our original BioTac® sensor, launched in 2008, has become the world’s leading sensor in machine touch. It is the first technology that accurately mimics the physical properties and sensory capabilities of the human fingertip.

This foundational sensor technology has made future possibilities into realities for a wide range of brands, with applications ranging from robotics innovation to consumer packaged goods testing.

The sensor’s design consists of a rigid core surrounded by an elastic liquid-filled skin that provides compliance remarkably similar to the human fingertip. It is capable of sensing force, vibration, and temperature – anything the human finger can feel.

The device does not have sensors on its skin cover. Instead, the electronics and sensors are protected inside the rigid core, enhancing durability.

The sensor that paved the way to machine touch

Our original BioTac® sensor, launched in 2008, has become the world’s leading sensor in machine touch. It is the first technology that accurately mimics the physical properties and sensory capabilities of the human fingertip.

This foundational sensor technology has made future possibilities into realities for a wide range of brands, with applications ranging from robotics innovation to consumer packaged goods testing.

The sensor’s design consists of a rigid core surrounded by an elastic liquid-filled skin that provides compliance remarkably similar to the human fingertip. It is capable of sensing force, vibration, and temperature – anything the human finger can feel.


The device does not have sensors on its skin cover. Instead, the electronics and sensors are protected inside the rigid core, enhancing durability.

Robotic artistry at your fingertips

The NumaTac™ distills the features of our BioTac sensor that are most useful for robotic artistry into a new class of sensors. This patent-pending technology consists of a spongy core surrounded by an elastic skin.

It enables robotic fingertips to handle delicate objects efficiently without breakage, because of its sensitivity to contact events and its highly manageable surface.

NumaTac technology can be easily designed and inexpensively manufactured to cover large and complex areas such as hands, feet, limbs or trunks.

It eliminates insensitive dead spots and vulnerable edges. It absorbs the energy of collisions, providing valuable time for evasive changes to spare the robot (and the world!) from serious damage.

Prosthetics: robotic hands that can feel

SynTouch’s intelligent grasping reflexes have achieved validation in advanced research as well as commercial traction. Designers of prosthetic hands integrate our sensors to improve the user’s capabilities in both perception and touch, including the ability to handle fragile objects.

Clinical studies of our technology have been funded with grants from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) and the National Institutes of Health with the goal of improving the performance of low-cost prosthetic hands. NIH studies have validated the capabilities of our sensors to improve user capabilities in perception and touch.

Through this work, we have discovered how to combine our highly nuanced sensors into a system of automatic reflexes that work in much the same way as real human fingers. This gives users an unprecedented ability to pick up objects without having to actively think about the amount of force they are applying – just like the reflexes of a real human hand.

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