The first paper on Bubble Artificial Muscles is now available online

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!

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What’s next for The Right Trousers?

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!

Standee Bristol 1

 

TrousersFest @ Bristol Robotics Laboratory

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 @ ICRA 2018

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.

The Right Trousers @ RoboSoft 2018

Richard Diteesawat from the University of Bristol team presented the team’s research on Bubble Artificial Muscles at the RoboSoft conference in Livorno, Italy! Well done Richard!

Bubble Artificial Muscles are a new type of pneumatic actuator that are thin, light, and super strong!

Tim Helps’ paper on Proprioceptive Artificial Muscles is now available online

We’re happy to announce that The Right Trousers is now published in the highest impact factor robotics journal in the world, Soft Robotics!

Tim Helps’ paper describes how artificial muscles can be made to be proprioceptive (self-sensing) by driving them using conductive working fluids. This could allow The Right Trousers of the future to detect your posture, allowing them to improve your stability, prevent falls, and predict your movements more accurately!

The paper has been published Open Access so is available to read for all! Read it here!

The Right Trousers @ EAPAD 2018

Tim Helps from the University of Bristol team was at the Electroactive Polymers and Devices (EAPAD) conference presenting the team’s research on Electroactive Gel artificial muscles.

These muscles are made from a special kind of jelly which exhibits fascinating anodophilic behaviour. This means they “love” the anode (positive electrode), and crawl towards it when a voltage is applied to them.

By stacking layers of electroactive jelly on top of one another, the team can make artificial muscles which are soft and squishy, perfect for inclusion in wearable robotic clothing where motors and pistons can’t be used.

The paper relating to this research is available here.