MIT Research Robotic Fiber Garment Sensing
Researchers from MIT and Sweden have developed a type of robotic fiber that can be directly woven into clothing. These robotic fibers are capable of sensing how much they are being stretched or compressed, allowing fo immediate tactile feedback in the form of pressure, lateral stretch, or vibration. It can be used in garments that help train singers or athletes for breath control, or just to help patients recover from surgery.

This innovation consists of multilayered fibers that contain a fluid channel in the center, which can be activated by a fluidic system. This latter controls the fibers’ geometry by pressurizing and releasing a fluid medium, like compressed air or water, into the channel, allowing it to act as an artificial muscle. There are also stretchable sensors capable of detecting and measuring the degree of stretching of the fibers.

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MIT Research Robotic Fiber Garment Sensing

Singing is particularly close to home, as my mom is an opera singer. She’s a soprano. I really wanted to capture this expertise in a tangible form. We eventually were able to achieve both the sensing and the modes of actuation that we wanted in the textile, to record and replay the complex movements that we could capture from an expert singer’s physiology and transpose it to a non-singer, a novice learner’s body. So, we are not just capturing this knowledge from an expert, but we are able to haptically transfer that to someone who is just learning,” she says,” said Ozgun Kilic Afsar, a visiting doctoral student and research affiliate at MIT.

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