Researcher at Harvard University developed a highly sensitive, soft and capacitive sensor that can transform any type of clothing or fabrics into a fitness tracker. This sensor is made up of silicon and fabrics that moves and flexes with human body to unobtrusively and accurately detect movement.
Harvard Professor Conor Walsh said the use of textiles in its construction would allow them to make ‘smart’ robotic apparel.
Science Behind Sensor
This sensor is made of thin sheet of silicon sandwiched between two layers of silver-plated, conductive fabric, forming a capacitive sensor. This type of sensor register movement by measuring the change in capacitance, or the ability to hold electrical charge, of the electrical field between the two electrodes.
How This Sensor Works
When stretched, the length of elastic fabric increases while its thickness and width decrease, keeping the total area of the material and capacitance constant. The researcher founded that the conducive area of their sensor increased as it was stretched, resulting in greater-than-expected capacitance.
This allows the sensor to detect any increase in capacitance within 30 milliseconds of strain application and physical changes in less than half a millimetre.
This articles is originally published at Business-Standard.