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Harvard’s revamped robotic fabric could lead to treatable wearable devices



To eliminate the need for external machines, they braided electronically conductive silver-plated wires into materials for STAT. The threads are used as heaters and sensor elements for smart fabrics, enabling changes in temperature and pressure to convert the phase of Novec 7000 from liquid to vapor and vice versa. Christopher Payne, the co-first author of the study, explained:

“With the integrated “closed loop feedback” controller, even if the STAT is placed in an environment with external temperature fluctuations (such as near the air pipe of the active cooling system), they can automatically maintain their pressure.”

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The researchers say that they can mass-produce fabrics with arbitrary geometric shapes, thus giving it a wide range of potential applications. For example, it can be used to mechanically treat wearable devices that can apply pressure to wounds and accelerate tissue repair. It can also be used in responsive mats to help prevent mattress and wheelchair sores, and can even be used to make dynamic clothing for avant-garde fashion shows.


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