Vehicles Design

SynTouch to visualize the “World of Touch” to better develop car interiors


The BioTac Toccare™

SynTouch announces the coming release of our second generation BioTac Toccare™. This device uses our proprietary technology, measurement systems and sensors to provide your team with clear answers about how your customers will perceive your products.

By purchasing a BioTac Toccare™ you can test different materials at the touch of a button and give your Quality Assurance, Product Development, and Sourcing personnel an amazing tool for making quick decisions. Here are just some of the ways investing in a BioTac Toccare™ can help you beat the competition:

  • Increase profitability by finding cheaper materials that will feel just like their expensive counterparts.
  • Reduce waste and costs by improving your manufacturing process through product sample testing.
  • Verify that suppliers sent you the same materials as the samples they presented.
  • Save money during research and development by eliminating the need to hire focus groups or expensive consultants.
  • Make your employees more productive by empowering them with clear, actionable data.

Human Perception with Machine Consistency

The sense of touch is the most powerful and least understood of the human senses. The way a product feels creates strong impressions about its quality, desirability and value, yet the underlying features that make one product feel better than another can be elusive.

Biomimetic Process

SynTouch technology is inspired by human biology. Humans perceive how objects feel by making carefully chosen exploratory movements with fingers that have highly evolved mechanical properties and multimodal sensors. Our BioTac Toccare™ integrates the Machine Touch version of all three with an algorithm that extracts human-like Dimensions of Touch.

  • Exploratory Movements: You spent your life refining your repertoire of exploratory movements. We built a robotic instrument that duplicates them with unprecedented precision and smoothness.
  • Fingertip Mechanics: Your fingertip has an elastic skin with a fingernail and fingerprints overlying a displaceable pulp and carefully shaped bone. We figured out how each of those features affects its interactions with objects and we built a fingertip that has all those essential properties.
  • Multimodal Sensors: Your fingertip has hundreds of delicate neural receptors for mechanical deformation of the skin, vibrations induced by sliding contact and heat flow between your warm fingers and the objects you touch. We figured out how to sense all the same things.
  • Neurally Inspired Algorithm: You integrate your exploratory movements with your tactile sensors to extract percepts of touch that you describe in a rich vocabulary. Our algorithm mirrors this to extract the 15 Dimensions of Touch.
Mercedes Maybach Just Unveiled A Stunning Concept Car To Rival Tesla

Quantifying Touch


The SynTouch Standard Dimensions

There are currently 15 standard, trademarked dimensions; Each dimension is presented below with its formal abbreviation.




Macrotexture (mTX) – The intensity of large features (>1mm spacing) that creates the perception of texture ranging from smooth to textured.

Macrotexture Coarseness (mCO) – The perceived spacing of large features (>1mm spacing), ranging from fine to coarse.

Macrotexture Regularity (mRG) – The perceived uniformity of large features, ranging from random to regular.


Microtexture Roughness (uRO) – The intensity of small features (<1mm spacing) that creates the perception of roughness ranging from smooth to rough

Microtexture Coarseness (uCO) – The perceived spacing of small features (<1mm spacing), ranging from fine to coarse.


Tactile Stiction (fST) – The effort required to initiate sliding on a surface, ranging from low grip to high grip.

Sliding Resistance (fRS) – The effort required to continue sliding over a surface, ranging from slippery to resistive.


Tactile Compliance (cCM) – The degree that a surface deforms under pressure, from rigid to compliant.

Local Deformation (cDF) – The degree to which the surface wraps around the fingertip when being deformed, ranging stays flat to high wrap.

Puritalia Unveils The Custom Made 965hp Super Hybrid Berlinetta At Geneva International Motor Show

Damping (cDP) – The speed that a surface returns to its original shape after being deformed, ranging from springy to damped.

Relaxation (cRX) – The degree to which a surface stops pushing back after being deformed, ranging from maintains force to relaxes.

Yielding (cYD) – The degree to which a surface remains deformed after being pressed, ranging from recovers shape to stays deformed.


Thermal Cooling (tCO) – The initial rate that a surface draws heat from the fingertip, ranging from warm to cool.

Thermal Persistence (tPR) – The extent that a surface continues to draw heat from the fingertip, ranging from transient cooling to sustained cooling.


Adhesive Tack (aTK) – The effort required to break contact with a surface, ranging from no adhesion to sticky.

Automotive Case Study
Faux Leather… That Feels Real


Source economical faux leathers that feel expensive



Consumers buying premium automobiles expect interiors with leathers that feel luxurious. However the use of leather can significantly increase the price of the vehicle, so faux leather trim can be used in areas, as long as it feels close to the real stuff! Tier-2 suppliers have developed a range of faux leather options, but sourcing it to feel just like the natural leathers is hard. The objective of this project was to find faux leathers that had the same feel as real leathers to make luxury affordable.

Faux feather was identified with nearly identical feel and a fraction of the cost.


An automotive OEM provided to SynTouch a sample of expensive natural leather that their designers and customer panels had indicated had the ideal feel. The customer had already tried to match this example ‘by hand’ to inexpensive materials on the market, but could not find a material that felt identical. The customer connected SynTouch to their liaisons at Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers to collect inexpensive manmade leather alternatives.

Walkcar Is The World Smallest Electric Vehicle Which Can Be Brought In A Bag Cocoamotors Www Cocoamotors Com


SynTouch tested both the natural leather from the OEM and the materials provided by suppliers. The results indicated that several kinds of faux leather from one Tier-2 were close to generating the right sensations to match the natural leather, one was slightly too coarse, the other slightly too fine.

The OEM’s premium leather was compared to manmade leather alternatives from Suppliers A-C. Supplier A had materials that felt far too tacky (hover/link: aTK: Adhesive Tack) – faux leather that would unpleasantly adhere to bare skin. Supplier B resolved the adhesion problem but only offered materials that were all much coarser (hover/link mCO: Macrotexture Coarseness) than desired – likely using grain effect with large patterns. Supplier C had two materials that that were slightly coarser, and slightly finer that desired, making it possible to guide them to produce a material that felt just right.


The automotive OEM had their problem solved. SynTouch found a company providing faux leather that felt similar to what the OEM desired, and provided the needed information for the Tier-2 to adjust their methods  and produce a material that the OEM would purchase. The result was the OEM sourced inexpensive manmade faux leather that matched the ideal feel of the leather they wanted. The automaker was able to deliver a car interior that felt like it used elite materials but was less expensive than their competitors.

Sensor Technology

BioTac Technologies

BioTac© (Top) BioTac SP© (Bottom)

Experiencing the human touch without humans is what puts The BioTac® in a class of its own when it comes to robustness and reparability. The BioTac® mimics the physical properties and sensory capabilities of the human fingertip

  • Since its launch in 2008, BioTac® has been the leading tactile sensor to assist brands discover the future of machine touch.
  • The BioTac, with advanced human-like tactile sensing, is the leading product in machine touch.The design consists of a rigid core surrounded by an elastic liquid filled-skin to give a compliance remarkably similar to the human fingertip.
  • The BioTac®  is capable of sensing: force, vibration, and temperature which is identical to human touch capabilities. These sensory capabilities have been incorporated into the device without placing a single sensor in the skin. Instead, all of the electronics are protected inside the rigid core.
Car Interior Design Faurecia Performance 2 0 Concept


NumaTac Technologies

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.

  • Its sensitivity to contact events and highly manageable surface make it ideal for fingertips that handle delicate objects.
  • NumaTac technology can be easily designed and inexpensively manufactured to cover large and complex areas such as hands, feet, limbs or trunk.
  • 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.


    vikram-prostheticsSynTouch’s intelligent grasping reflexes are currently being utilized in clinical studies funded by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs and the NIH to bring this technology to market and improve the performance of low-cost prosthetic hands.

    Clinicians have long known that stiff hands tend to be almost useless even if they have normal motor function. Anyone who has tried to use their hands when their fingertips are numb from the cold also knows this. Nevertheless, designers of prosthetic hands have been reluctant to incorporate tactile sensing be

    In research funded by the National Institutes of Health, SynTouch was able to develop the revolutionary BioTac sensor and integrate these sensors into prosthetics to improve the user’s capabilities in both 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.



Audi And Johannes Kepler University Of Linz To Establish Center For Artificial Intelligence

The SynTouch Story

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Los Angeles, SynTouch is the world leader in Machine Touch®, the robotic equivalent for the most human of our five senses. Our proprietary characterization system, the SynTouch Standard®, quantifies the tactile qualities of materials and consumer products with more accuracy than human experts, and has been used for product design and quality control by leading manufacturers around the world. Our BioTac Toccare™ reproduces both the mechanical properties and sensory modalities of human fingertips, allowing us to measure how products feel in all the same dimensions that your customers can perceive.

Our sensors enable machines to achieve humanlike tactile awareness, perception and dexterity. Our BioTac® and BioTac SP sensors are the most biomimetic tactile devices in the world, and have been integrated onto nearly all robotics research platforms. Our NumaTac® sensors have been used to improve prosthetic hands and personal assistive robotic arms. Our consulting and research teams look forward to developing Machine Touch for your applications.


SynTouch Inc. , 3720 Clifton Pl, Montrose, CA 91020





Raffaele Schiavullo
the authorRaffaele Schiavullo
ADMINISTRATOR - Senior 3D/Virtual Reality Specialist and Automotive HMI developer - Working in London and "insanely" passionate about technology and its creative applications


From 1/5/2018 we have decided to open comments on our pages to let our followers share their professional background. Thanks for choosing to leave a comment.

Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy and your email address will NOT be published. Please do NOT use keywords in the name field.

By logging in or posting a comment, you are accepting our policy and terms of use.

Let's have a professional and meaningful conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Leave a Reply