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What is Perceptronics?

The cooperative research project Olfactorial Perceptronics funded by the Volkswagen Foundation aims at establishing an interdisciplinary and innovative combination between electronic sensors and human perception. The main concept of perceptronics applies to all sensory systems of a human. In this particular project, we specifically focus on olfaction. See also a recent article in the Universitätsjournal of TU Dresden.

Human olfaction is a very efficient sensory system, which has inspired the search for an electronic analog. Early on it was recognized that such an artificial nose requires the inclusion of perception – the interpretation of sensation in light of experience. This type of evaluation is achieved by using methods of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

A breakthrough of perceptive electronics (short: perceptronics) can only happen in a concerted effort of science, engineering and medicine which stringently builds on recent advances in each discipline. The proposed research group will work in this spirit as an interdisciplinary team on topics of perceptronics for olfaction. The intended planning phase will be used to gather leading experts in the fields of (nano) sensorics, olfaction, perception and machine learning to facilitate co-operation and prepare a qualification program to bridge the different disciplines.

The scientific setting in Dresden provides a unique opportunity to successfully implement the planned research group and to break new grounds in the field of sensorics. TU Dresden is one of the 11 German Universities of Excellence and has a strong focus on materials science and electronic innovations. At same time, the University Hospital Dresden and the Faculty of Medicine are committed to excellence in high-performance medicine, medical research and teaching.