Project Cairo: an intelligent soft-robotic jacket


Project Cairo is a joint effort between CWI, AMOLF, and the Dutch textile designer SME Byborre to create an urban jacket that pushes the state-of-the-art of smart-textiles. The jacket will sense and reason about the wearer activity, profile and external conditions to trigger changes in its structure and insulation. To build it, we will exploit new materials developed by AMOLF, i.e. soft-robotic matter, as a way of changing the physical properties of textiles. This will be added to the proven expertise in merging sensor technology and artificial intelligence, developed by CWI, with the innovative textile design and fabrication techniques of Byborre. We will fine tune the jacket to assist people commuting by bike, and test it with potential final users applying quantitative and qualitative methods.
Clothes, historically, protect us from external conditions. Lately, small electronics and mobile communications brought the advent of wearables that assist people in different aspects of their lives. However, most existing wearables are passive gadgets, and poorly integrated with clothes, if at all. With few exceptions, they are not attractive fashionable objects. In this project, we want to overcome these limitations. Thus, we question ourselves: 1) can smart-textiles play a more active role in controlling our environment (moving from sensing to action)? and 2) can we design, build, and understand technology that goes beyond an attached sensor and becomes an integral part of the textile/fabric itself? Solving these questions will dramatically impact the landscape of smart-textiles, and open great opportunities for revolutionary commercial and scientific endeavours.





Dr. P.S. Cesar Garcia

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Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Software Engineering