The Right Trousers is an EPSRC funded research project which aims to develop new soft robotic technologies that will help older people and people with disabilities to live more independently and with greater quality of life. It is a collaboration between six UK research institutes.
The soft robotic technology could help vulnerable people avoid falls by supporting them whilst walking, give people added bionic strength to move between sitting and standing positions and help people climb stairs.
The Right Trousers project officially finished on the 30th June 2018. After three years of interviews and research, we have advanced science and developed technology to address the challenges faced by older adults and people living with disabilities.
You can find a list of our publications over on the Publications page, many of which are published Open Access so you can directly read about the work we’ve been doing.
While the project is officially over, our work on The Right Trousers is not! We’ll continue to publish research related to the project over the next few months. We are also planning to present The Right Trousers project at the British Science Festival!
Finally, we will be applying for follow-on funding for future projects relating to The Right Trousers, including projects related to joint pain relief and upper limb rehabilitation and assistance.
To wrap up, here’s our vision for Wearable Soft Robotics for Independent Living: combining all the technology we have developed into The Right Trousers of the future!
Today we hosted TrousersFest at Bristol Robotics Laboratory!
At TrousersFest, we invited fellow academics, our funders and our focus groups back to the lab to show them what we have achieved during The Right Trousers Project.
We were especially happy to welcome back many of the guests who kindly gave their time and advice during focus groups at the start of the project. Their interviews were invaluable to us and helped to guide the project to where it is today!
We got some great positive feedback from guests during the event:
“Great work – please keep going with this research – it’s amazing!”
“Looking forward to seeing this for sale!”
The Right Trousers team!
The Right Trousers was at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2018!
Tim Helps presented research on 3D-printed variable-stiffness structures. These 3D-printed devices could be used in orthotics that treat foot drop, a condition that makes walking more difficult, or in adaptive sockets for prosthetics. By applying electricity, they become warm and soft, which could allow the user to relax their foot for a rest, or adjust the fit of their prosthetic socket to make it more comfortable!
We’ve published a paper on this technology in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. The paper is published Open Access so everyone can read it for free! Read it here.
Our amazing Research Fellow, Sarah Manns, presented a poster about the project at the UCL Qualitative Health Research Symposium 2017! The poster was extremely well received with lots of interest, and Sarah became known as Robot Trouser Lady at the symposium!
As part of the fabrication and nano materials theme of the Right Trousers project we will be using the Toucan 6-head ink jet printing system at the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing, based at Nottingham. The Toucan is capable of printing a up to six different functional materials (including materials for circuit tracks, electronic components and active structures) in one go. For more information on the Toucan system see the Centre’s lab page.
Here are a couple of pictures of the jetting system:(c) www.3dp-research.com
Here is a quick video showing our soft robotics stand at the Gadget Show Live. You can see Tim by the assisted living/soft robotic leg demonstration.