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New Robotic Fabric Is So Smart, It Reacts To Wearers’ Breathing & Movements
By Alexa Heah, 18 Oct 2021
Video screenshot via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
As we advance further into the technological age, there’s no doubt fashion is also doing its best to catch up.
From a wearable battery powered by sweat, to peppermint-infused clothing to keep you cool, engineers have developed many new designs that tap on technology to improve the utility of our clothes.
Now, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a new kind of fabric that reacts to a wearer’s movements. Called the OmniFiber, scientists from MIT teamed up with those from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Uppsala University to create this “robotic” material that can sense what’s happening around it.
Upon sensing a change in the wearer’s movements, the fabric can automatically curl, stretch, pulse, or bend to immediately adapt. According to Beebom, the OmniFiber resembles any other soft fabric, and could potentially be sewn into kinetic clothing for everyday wear.
To control the movement of the fiber, the scientists used compressed air, designing wearable control platforms—named Flow IO—to regulate the airflow, allowing the material to move accordingly.
The researchers have lofty ambitions for the high-tech material, and said it could be used to help monitor and regulate patients’ breathing during recovery post-operations. It could also be useful to athletes or singers, helping them to temper their breathing patterns for better performance.
Intrigued? Check out the video below to see how OmniFiber works.
[via Beebom, cover image via Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)]
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