Epidermal Robots

Epidermal sensing has enabled significant advancements towards the measurement and understanding of health. Most of the existing medical instruments require direct expert manipulation of a doctor, measure a single parameter, and/or have limited sensing coverage. In contrast, this work demonstrates the first epidermal robot with the ability to move over the surface of the skin and capture a large range of body parameters. In particular, we developed SkinBot, a 2x4x2 centimeter-size robot that moves over the skin surface with two-legged suction-based locomotion. We demonstrate three of the potential medical sensing applications which include the measurement of body biopotentials (e.g., electrodermal activity, electrocardiography) through modified suction cups that serve as electrodes, skin imaging through a skin-facing camera that can capture skin anomalies, and inertial body motions through a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope that can capture changes of body posture and subtle cardiorespiratory vibrations.


This work was done in collaboration with Javier Hernandez, and help from Inrak Choi and Sean Follmer at Stanford University


A. Dementyev, J. Hernandez, I. Choi, S. Follmer, J. Paradiso, “Epidermal Robots: Wearable Sensors That Climb On The Skin” in Proc. of IMWUT’18 (pdf)

A. Dementyev, J. Hernandez, I. Choi, S. Follmer, J. Paradiso, “SkinBot: a Wearable Skin Climbing Robot”, Adjunct Pub. of UIST ’17 (pdf)

Github repository