New technology uses conductive threads on the skin to track body movements
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When these wires are bent with external mechanical strain, their conductivity will Changes. Therefore, by monitoring these changes, the time and extent of thread bending can be determined. In testing the technology, the research team placed two wires behind the test subject’s neck. These lines are arranged in opposite directions and cross each other to form a wide X shape. This configuration makes them line up along two different axes.
Then, when the test subject moves the head (including moving the neck), the current flows through the thread. The resulting thread impedance changes are transmitted to the computer via Bluetooth, where machine learning algorithms are used to match these changes to specific head movements in real time.
All in all, the accuracy of the system in identifying changes in head orientation, rotation angle, and displacement is 93%. This technology is likely to perform the same role when tracking the movement of other body parts, although the algorithm must be specifically trained for each part.
Researchers hope that once the development becomes thin Thin skin patches or even in the form of underwear, the system can be put into use, such as carefully monitoring sports performance, checking whether truck drivers have become drowsy, or monitoring Parkinson’s disease patients.
“This is a promising demonstration of how we can make sensors that monitor our health, performance, and environment in a non-invasive way,” the first author of the research paper, an undergraduate student Said Jiang Yiwen (transliteration). “More work needs to be done to improve the range and accuracy of the sensor. In this case, this may mean collecting data from a larger thread array, regularly spaced or arranged in a pattern, and developing algorithms to Improve the quantification of joint movement.”
The paper was published this week in the journal “Scientific Reports”.