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Smart Textiles Sense How Their Users Are Moving

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The same technique could be used to produce smart shoes that track the gait of someone who is learning to walk again after an injury, or socks that monitor pressure on a diabetic patient’s foot to prevent the formation of ulcers.

Credit: Irmandy Wicaksono

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Wellesley College, and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have fabricated smart textiles that can sense their wearer's posture and motions.

The researchers used thermoforming to slightly melt plastic yarn, augmenting the precision of pressure sensors woven into multilayered knit textiles they call 3DKnITS.

They applied this process to produce a smart shoe and textile mat, then assembled a hardware and software system to measure and interpret data from the pressure sensors incorporated in them.

The system anticipated motions and yoga poses performed by an individual standing on the smart mat with about 99% accuracy.

MIT's Irmandy Wicaksono said the fabrication process facilitates rapid prototyping and can be scaled up for extensive manufacturing.

From MIT News
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