Scientists have developed “robot” fiber omnifibers that can be used to make clothing to help regulate breathing

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Scientists have developed “robot” fiber omnifibers that can be used to make clothing to help regulate breathing

this multilayer fiber contains a fluid channel in the middle, which can be activated by a fluid system. The system controls the geometry of the fiber by pressurizing and releasing the fluid medium (such as water) into the channel, so that the fiber can function as an artificial muscle. These fibers also contain stretchable sensors that can detect and measure the degree of stretching of the fibers. The resulting composite fibers are thin and flexible enough to be sewn, woven or knitted using standard commercial machines

this fiber, called omnifibers, will be presented at the user interface software and technology online conference of the American computer association this week. The authors include visiting doctoral students and research members of MIT ozgun Kilic afsar, Jerome B. Wiesner, Hiroshi Ishii, Professor of media art and science, and from the Media Laboratory of MIT Eight other researchers from Uppsala University and kth Royal Institute of technology in Sweden

in addition, this new fiber architecture has some key features. Its extremely narrow size and the use of cheap materials make it relatively easy to construct fibers into various fabric forms. It is also compatible with human skin because its outer layer is based on a material similar to ordinary polyester. Moreover, its fast response time and the strength and diversity of forces it can exert make it a fast feedback system for training or tactile (tactile based) remote communication

afsar said that the disadvantage of most existing artificial muscle fibers is that they are either thermally activated, which may cause overheating when used in contact with human skin, or the power efficiency is low or the training process is too cumbersome. She said that these systems usually have slow response and recovery time, which limits their direct availability in applications requiring rapid feedback

Scientists have developed “robot” fiber omnifibers that can be used to make clothing to help regulate breathing(1)

as a preliminary test application of the material, the team made an underwear that singers can wear to monitor and replay the movement of respiratory muscles, and then provide motion feedback through the same clothes to encourage the best posture and breathing mode, Achieve ideal vocal performance. In the design and production of this dress, afsar worked closely with Kelsey cotton, a classically trained opera singer

afsar indicates: “I really want to capture this expertise in a tangible form. The researchers asked the singer to perform while wearing clothes made of their robot fibers, and recorded motion data from strain sensors woven on the clothes. They then convert the sensor data into corresponding tactile feedback. We can finally realize the sensing and driving modes we want in textiles, record and replay complex movements. We can capture these movements from the physiology of expert singers and transplant them to non singers and novice learners. Therefore, we can not only capture this knowledge from experts, but also transfer this knowledge to those who have just learned in a tactile way. ”

afsar said that although this preliminary test was carried out in the context of vocal music pedagogy, the same method can be used to help athletes learn how to best control their breathing under specific circumstances. The basis is to monitor the activities of successful athletes and stimulate the working muscle groups. Finally, the researchers hope that this clothing can also be used to help athletes Help patients with major surgery or respiratory diseases (e.g. covid-19) It can be used as an alternative treatment for sleep apnea.

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the physiology of respiration is actually quite complex, and afsar explained that she is doing this work as part of her doctoral thesis at the Royal Swedish Institute of technology “We don’t know exactly which muscles we use and what the physiology of breathing includes. Therefore, their clothes have independent modules to monitor different muscle groups when the wearer inhales and exhales, and can replay individual actions to stimulate the activation of each muscle group.”

Hiroshi Ishii said that he can foresee various applications of this technology. “Everyone has to breathe. Breathing has a significant impact on productivity, confidence and performance,” he said. “Breathing is important for singing, and it is also helpful for recovery from surgery or depression. For example, breathing is so important for meditation.”

he said that the system may also be helpful for training other types of muscle movements other than breathing. For example“ Many of our artists have learned amazing calligraphy, but I want to feel the stroke dynamics of the brush, “this may be achieved through sleeves and gloves made of this closed-loop feedback material. He suggested that Olympic athletes can reproduce famous athletes (whether weightlifters or skiers) by wearing one This soft fiber composite, which is similar to yarn, has five layers: the innermost liquid channel, a silicon-based elastic tube used to contain the working liquid, a soft stretchable sensor to detect strain in the form of resistance change, a woven polymer stretchable outer network to control the external size of the fiber, and a mechanism to provide mechanical constraints for overall scalability Non stretched filament.

“in this study, fiber level engineering and fabric level design are well combined,” said Yao lining, assistant professor of human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. She was not involved in this study. This work shows that “Different machine weaving technologies, including inlay and active spacer fabrics, advance the state-of-the-art in the way actuating fibers are embedded in textiles,” she said. “When we talk about wearable interaction with actuating fabrics, integrating strain sensing and feedback is crucial.”

afsar plans to continue her efforts to miniaturize the whole system, including its control electronics and compressed air supply, to keep it as unobtrusive as possible, and develop a manufacturing system to produce longer filaments. In the coming months, she plans to start experimenting with the system to transfer skills from experts to singers, and then explore different types of sports Practice, including choreography and dancer’s movement