Breakthrough innovation
and Concept:

The proposed science to technology breakthrough is an adaptive skin of a few millimeter thickness, with unprecedented near-field sensing capabilities. The skin is based on the capability of metasurfaces to manipulate reactive fields.

Signal analysis is then expected to provide a translation from the near-field to far-field environments, with near-field awareness down to 1 centimeter accuracy. Full coverage with a smart skin will produce a sensing “aura” around the robot or body.


Meta-skin on a robot (left), with radiating and electronic layers (middle) and integration layout (right).

The FITNESS project encompasses the synthesis of new low-loss flexible microwave substrates, research on the embedded electronics, the analysis and design of metasurfaces on curved structures and data analysis. The first demonstrator will be realized in the field of robotics, while later applications are envisioned in the medical area.

One of the main societal outputs will consist of a more harmonious cooperation between robots and humans through the constant probing of their respective near-field environments.

FITNESS will use a holistic approach to develop thin (a few mm) integrated smart skins, through a tight exchange between diverse areas: RF front-end circuits, chemistry and polymer materials, flexible substrates, Silicon integration, phased array antennas, metamaterials, numerical modelling, heat management and communication systems.