Innovate MIT researchers are smart clothing that uses special fibers to sense a person’s movement through touch.
And smart fibers can determine whether a person dressed is sitting, walking, or performing certain poses.
Wearable technology is one of the areas of development around the world, as it includes a whole series of smart watches that can measure all kinds of measures of human movement and health to clothes that are able to monitor a person’s vital signs without having to touch the wearer.
MIT researchers from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab believe that smart clothing can be used for sports training or rehabilitation.
Innovative materials can also passively monitor health in supported care facilities with user permission, making it easier for semi-autonomous people to stay safe and warn employees if the user falls.
MIT researchers have developed a range of prototypes for the wearable materials, including socks, gloves and bulletproof vests.
Haptic electronics use a combination of typical textile fibers and a small amount of functional fibers intended to sense pressure from the wearer.
One MIT researcher says it has traditionally been difficult to develop a mass wearable device that provides high-resolution data with multiple sensors.
The result of the fabrication of multiple sensor arrays that some do not work, and some do not perform as well as others.
This forced the team to design a self-correcting mechanism using a self-supervised machine learning algorithm to find out and adjust when certain sensors are outside the basic level.
The socks the team designed were able to predict movement by looking at different sequences of concrete footprints and associating them with different positions as the user moved from one position to another.
Gloves can detect what they are touching, while a smart jacket can recognize the wearer’s posture, activity, and even the feel of the sofa it is sitting on.
The research team believes that smart clothes can be used in robots to provide a kind of skin for the robot to provide tactile sensing.
The technology is made using affordable materials and will be relatively easy to mass-produce, and MIT’s work was funded in part by the Toyota Research Institute.