Research Paper on 3D-Printed Variable-Stiffness Structures is now available online

We’re pleased to announce that Dr Majid Taghavi and the University of Bristol team’s paper on 3D-printable variable stiffness structures has been published in the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters!

These new materials can be 3D-printed into any shape, and by applying electricity to them they can be transitioned from being strong and stiff to being soft and flexible. Some of our target users, such as older adults, can get tired when they have to stand up for a long time (for example while doing the washing up). With these new materials, The Right Trousers can stiffen up to provide support to the user when needed, and become soft and flexible when the user needs to walk around or sit down!

The paper has been published Open Access so it’s freely available for reading by anyone! Read it here!

Another focus group

Today had our third focus group, again with several individuals with limited mobility who very kindly provided their time and personal experience. Once again their unique insights into the requirements for wearable assistive technology were fantastic!

Our local artist Bethan Mure hit the ball out of the park, taking visual notes on the fly over the course of the discussion.

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Ink jet printing of nano materials

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:IMG_6299_aIMG_6303a(c) www.3dp-research.com

 

Focus Group – individuals who have had strokes

Today we held our first user focus group during which eight individuals who have had strokes came to the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.  The group were incredibly generous with their time and their constructive comments.  We had a really great afternoon of discussions and brain storming and came away with a greater perspective on this important potential user group.

During the focus group Bethan Mure, a local artist, took visual notes in the form of cartoons to help us form our thoughts and to remember the key points of discussion.  Bethan’s work was superb – you can see the results below – and really captured the spirit and range of discussions.

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