Researchers developed a "robotic" fabric fiber that moves in a breath-like pattern with an inexpensive innovative fluidic system that can be woven into commercial machines. Scientists hope to use the OmniFibers to help people who have difficulty regulating breathing in multiple fields.
The fibers have a layered system that channels compressed air or water. This system constricts and releases like a muscle. The fibers contain stretchable sensors that detect and measure the degree of stretching. The outer layer feels like polyester and has a speedy response time with no overheating issues like earlier models.
“We were able to record and replay the complex movements captured from an expert singer’s physiology and transpose it to a nonsinger. So, we are not just capturing this knowledge from an expert, but we can haptically transfer that to someone who is just learning,” says Ozgun Kilic Afsar, a research affiliate at MIT.
The ability of this fabric to analyze the data of breathing and muscle movement for feedback and skills transfer can help singers, athletes, and patients achieve better results in less time.