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.
Wow! The Right Trousers project is at the top of the front page on BBC News Science & Environment! Read the article here!
Yesterday, Jonathan Rossiter, Tim Helps, Majid Taghavi and Richard Diteesawat from Bristol, Aaron Page from Southampton and Pouyan Mehryar from Leeds travelled to The British Science Festival in Hull to hold a press conference to present the completed Right Trousers project to the press!
We’re thrilled to have been featured in full articles from The Financial Times, The i, The Mail Online, The Guardian, The Metro, The Telegraph, The Times and many more!
Cracking contraption, Gromit! ‘Right trousers’ project under way
(also published on ITV News)
The Financial Times
UK engineering project uses robotic technology and artificial muscles to restore mobility
Smart trousers that help you walk could be just seven years away
Irish Tech News
Smart trousers with artificial ‘muscles’ will change the lives of people with mobility problems
The Mail Online
‘The right trousers’: Scientists are developing high-tech trues that lower themselves and even help disabled people to walk
The Sunderland Echo
Engineers developing smart trousers to help older people walk – taking inspiration from Wallace and Gromit
‘The right trousers’: Wallace and Gromit inspire artificial muscle clothing
Scientists building real-life version of Wallace and Gromit’s ‘Wrong Trousers’
The Daily Telegraph
Robo-trousers to give elderly bionic strength designed by British scientists
Scientists make huge strides with smart trousers
Tim Helps from the University of Bristol team presented the team’s research on Easy Undressing with Soft Robotics at the Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS) conference in Bristol!
This research describes how Soft Robotics can be used to make clothing easy to put on and take off. Some our target users, for example people who have had strokes, have dexterity impairments, which can make getting dressed and undressed more difficult. For The Right Trousers of the future to be a success, they will have to address this challenge directly!
We’re especially excited because Tim’s presentation was awarded The Institution of Engineering and Technology Prize for Innovation in Robotics!
The academic paper relating to Tim’s presentation is available here.
The Bristol team have developed new artificial muscles which will be included in The Right Trousers to help people walk, climb stairs, and stand up! These new Bubble Artificial Muscles are thin, light, and super strong, making them perfect for inclusion in wearable robotic clothing.
The first paper on Bubble Artificial Muscles is now available online – read it here!
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 (ICRA) conference in Brisbane!
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.