OmniFiber Self Sensing Morphing Textiles by Ozgun Kilic Afsar

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
OmniFiber

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Self Sensing Morphing Textiles

INSPIRATION:
Textiles are vital to our survival across scales, from medical textiles that repair our organs to blankets that provide warmth and protection. Although the development of textiles is intertwined with that of human progress, they are still valued as static and disposable goods. Advanced fibers have the potential to create a whole new industry where textiles can sense surroundings; store energy; and communicate in a single package. This will increase the value of textiles to society, transforming them from something we buy, use and throw away, to a platform for experiences and services.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
OmniFiber is a high-pressure microfluidic fiber technology for robotic textiles and garments. The fiber is engineered to sense its own physical deformation and mechanically respond to it. OmniFiber has versatile morphing behavior such as contracting, extending, bending and coiling with immediate response, high contraction ratio and high force output. This allows a myriad of applications including kinesthetic wearables for skill learning and transfer, dynamic fitting garments, and textile-based haptic devices for telepresence applications.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The system design consists of a fiber based interface and a wearable pneumatic control module that together convert energy from a compressed fluid medium to mechanical motion. The fiber behavior is programmed by miniaturized valves in the control module that vary air pressure and flow rate, operated through a graphical interface. The users can interact with OmniFiber based devices leveraging the closed loop strain control functionality for real time, and record-playback interactions, or alternatively design morphing behavior using the event scheduler on the graphical interface.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Started in April 2020 at MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts and ended in November 2021. The work has been presented and demonstrated at the ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium in October 2021.

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
This work demonstrates that microfluidic actuation with reinforced tubular elastomers can be leveraged for fluidic morphing matter that acts as a fiber in a fabric assembly. The technology is designed for closed loop Human Textile Interaction by applying localized sensor nodes on the fiber body. A mechanical programming pipeline is developed for versatile morphing states by adding on-demand mechanical constraints. With various assemblies made of OmniFibers, in-fabric haptic feedback is achieved including high frequency oscillations, lateral skin stretch, and compression.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
A single OmniFiber device can be as thin as 500 microns and as large as 2 millimeters in diameter. They can be fabricated theoretically at infinite lengths, although we have so far achieved a continuous fabrication of a 60 meters-long fiber spool. A single contractible fiber of 1.8 mm diameter exhibits forces up to 19 Newtons, demonstrating high speeds of linear actuation with as little as 5 milliseconds response time for full-state morphing.

TAGS:
Interaction Design, Materials Research, Human-Textile Interaction, Morphing User Interfaces, Haptic Devices, Soft Sensors and Actuators, Microfluidics, Intelligent Textiles, Fibers

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
Advances in materials science invite visions of a world where people interact with machines through garments. OmniFiber presents a novel textile technology where actuated fibers are used to make self-sensing robotic fabrics. The fabrication and comprehensive system design provide designers with an accessible way to knit and weave fluidic morphing swatches. OmniFiber operates with low power, high bandwidth and is strong enough to lift kilograms of weight, making it an ideal technology for kinesthetic wearables such as respiratory regulation-wear, soft exoskeletons for dance pedagogy, and peristaltic compression garments.

CHALLENGE:
Recently, there have been remarkable advancements that yield a myriad of engineered fibers, however prior work has often focused on achieving either sensing or actuation, but seldom both. Readily employed fibers such as shape memory alloys have limitations that hinder their integration to everyday interactions. These are high cost, slow response, small forces, arduous training, and risk of burning the skin. To overcome these challenges, we established a fiber technology that uses off-the-shelf materials, is scalable, machine-knittable, safe to wear, and has immediate response.

ADDED DATE:
2021-09-30 17:07:08

TEAM MEMBERS (3) :
Ozgun Kilic Afsar, Ali Shtarbanov and Hiroshi Ishii

IMAGE CREDITS:
All Photo credits to Ozgun Kilic Afsar, 2021.
All Video credits to MIT, 2021.

PATENTS/COPYRIGHTS:
Provisional Patent. Patent No. 63/276895. Joint, Media Laboratory. 2021. https://patents.media.mit.edu/23866TJ

Visit the following page to learn more: http://bit.ly/3Mjldl5
CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Ozgun Kilic Afsar

PROFILE:
Ozgun Kilic Afsar. is a Ph.D. candidate at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and a Research Affiliate at MIT Media Lab. Her current research focuses on integrated soft robotic fibers and textiles that correspond to the dexterity of human biomechanics. Such active textile systems feature multimodal haptic feedback to kinesthetically support skill acquisition and transfer in creative movement practices. This work has recently been featured as a cover story on MIT News. She is currently exploring robotic upper body-ware’s potential to allow for intergenerational interactions in the context of opera, such as two experts singing a duet across time and space. Her aim is to generate a tangible skills database to safeguard somatic skills in the form of haptic notations through robotic materials.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Omnifiber Self Sensing Morphing Textiles by Ozgun Kilic Afsar is a Nominee in Textile, Fabric, Textures, Patterns and Cloth Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Omnifiber Self Sensing Morphing Textiles by Ozgun Kilic Afsar is Winner in Textile, Fabric, Textures, Patterns and Cloth Design Category, 2021 - 2022.



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