Yale scientists have developed a flexible robotic fabric


What just happened? The field of robotics has come a long way over the past few decades, and we’ve seen many incredible advancements, such as the robotic dog known as Spot, or — to use a more recent example — a new “breakthrough” fabric engineered by researchers working out of Yale University.

Yale professor Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio and her team of scientists have managed to develop a “robotic fabric,” which combines the benefits of traditional fabric — such as breathability and flexibility — with full actuation, sensing capabilities, and “variable stiffness fibers.”

These sensors can bend and twist into pre-determined shapes, which could have useful applications down the line — Kramer-Bottiglio believes her technology could be used to develop self-deploying tents, robotic parachutes, and “assistive clothing” for the elderly.

It remains to be seen whether or not Kramer-Bottiglio’s tech will ever be actively implemented in the real world, but it certainly raises some exciting possibilities for the future.

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