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Creating the perfect wearable device to monitor muscle movement, heart rate and other tiny bio-signals without breaking the bank has inspired scientists to look for a simpler and more affordable tool.
Now, a team of researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus have developed a practical way to monitor and interpret human motion, in what may be the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to wearable technology.
Research - Sensor - Project - Device - Motion
What started as research to create an ultra-stretchable sensor transformed into a sophisticated inter-disciplinary project resulting in a smart wearable device that is capable of sensing and understanding complex human motion, explains School of Engineering Professor Homayoun Najjaran.
The sensor is made by infusing graphene nano-flakes (GNF) into a rubber-like adhesive pad. Najjaran says they then tested the durability of the tiny sensor by stretching it to see if it can maintain accuracy under strains of up to 350 per cent of its original state. The device went through more than 10,000 cycles of stretching and relaxing while maintaining its electrical stability.
Sensor - Najjaran - Form - Functionality - Efficacy
"We tested this sensor vigorously," says Najjaran. "Not only did it maintain its form but more importantly it retained its sensory functionality. We have further demonstrated the efficacy of GNF-Pad as a haptic technology in real-time applications by precisely replicating the human finger gestures using a three-joint robotic finger."
The goal was to make something that could stretch, be flexible and a reasonable size, and have the required sensitivity, performance, production...
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