Who doesn’t want to wear a soft robotic jacket?!

I have been awarded funding through the programme ‘Creatieve industrie – Kennis Innovatie Mapping’ (KIEM) from NWO Humanities. The funding will go to “Project Cairo: an intelligent soft robotic jacket”. I will work on this project with the Distributed and Interactive Systems group led by Pablo Cesar (CWI) and with Borre Akkersdijk (Byborre).

The goal of project Cairo is to create an urban jacket that pushes the state-of-the-art of smart-textiles. The jacket will sense and reason about the wearer’s activity, profile and external conditions to trigger changes in its structure and insulation. To build it, the group will exploit new materials developed by our Soft Robotic Matter group, as a way of changing the physical properties of textiles. This will be added to the proven expertise in merging sensor technology and artificial intelligence, developed by CWI, with the innovative textile design and fabrication techniques of Byborre. Our team will fine-tune the jacket to assist people commuting by bike, and test it with potential final users applying quantitative and qualitative methods.

The research will address questions such as: how can smart-textiles play a more active role in controlling our environment? Can we design, build and understand technology that goes beyond an attached or even retrofit sensor and make it an integrated part of the textile itself? The project will presumably take place in the period October 2017-March 2018.

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