Soft and Stretchy Fabric-Based Sensors for Wearable Robots

Hybrid silicone-fabric sensor

Silicone-textile hybrid sensors

July 31, 2017 | Source: Wyss Institute, wyss.harvard.edu, 12 July 2017, Lindsay Brownell

Wearable technologies – from heart rate monitors to virtual reality headsets – are exploding in popularity in both the consumer and research spaces, but most of the electronic sensors that detect and transmit data from wearables are made of hard, inflexible materials that can restrict both the wearer’s natural movements and the accuracy of the data collected. Now, a team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has created a highly sensitive soft capacitive sensor made of silicone and fabric that moves and flexes with the human body to unobtrusively and accurately detect movement.