At the human-machine interface

EPFLMechanical sensing is a key functionality in soft robotics and a new elastomeric fibre that can be turned into a fabric “skin” with the ability to act as a single, large-area sensor – and detect different kinds of deformation such as stretching, pressure and torque at the same time – has been invented at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).

Professor Fabien Sorin and doctoral assistant Andreas Leber at the Laboratory of Photonic Materials and Fibre Devices at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, explain that their technology adapts concepts from reflectometry – exploiting the reflection of waves at surfaces and interfaces to detect or characterise objects – and works in a similar way to a radar, but sends out electrical impulses instead of electromagnetic waves.

For the full story, see the April 2021 edition of Smart Textiles & Wearables.