Imperial College London

Dr Thrishantha Nanayakkara

Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Reader in Design Engineering and Robotics



+44 (0)20 7594 0965t.nanayakkara Website CV




RCS1 M229Dyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Wegiriya, H and Sornkarn, N and Bedford, H and Nanayakkara, T},
doi = {10.1109/SMC.2016.7844834},
pages = {3847--3852},
title = {A biologically inspired multimodal whisker follicle},
url = {},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Mammalian whisker follicle contains multiple sensory receptors strategically organized to capture tactile sensory stimuli of different frequencies via the vibrissal system. There have been a number of attempts to develop robotic whiskers to perform texture classification tasks in the recent past. Inspired by the features of biological whisker follicle, in this paper we design and use a novel soft whisker follicle comprising of two different frequency-dependent data capturing modules to derive deeper insights into the biological basis of tactile perception in the mammalian whisker follicle. In our design, the innervations at the Outer Conical Body (OCB) of a biological follicle are realized by a piezoelectric transducer for capturing high frequency components; whereas the innervations around the hair Papilla are represented by a hall sensor to capture low frequency components during the interaction with the environment. In this paper, we show how low dimensional information such as the principle components of co-variation of these two sensory modalities vary for different speeds and indentations of brushing the whisker against a surface. These new insights into the biological basis of tactile perception using whiskers provides new design guidelines to develop efficient robotic whiskers.
AU - Wegiriya,H
AU - Sornkarn,N
AU - Bedford,H
AU - Nanayakkara,T
DO - 10.1109/SMC.2016.7844834
EP - 3852
PY - 2017///
SP - 3847
TI - A biologically inspired multimodal whisker follicle
UR -
UR -
ER -