If you think common places where you would find robots are manufacturing plants, operating rooms, or homes, you are in for a surprise. The robots are now on your clothes. Yes, you heard it right. And, to make it a wee bit more interesting, these wearable robots on your clothes can change your style and enhance your looks.
MIT’s Project Kino (kinetic wearables) has small robots that can move around the surface of your clothes. The fashion robots cling to the clothes using tiny magnets. The name signifies the ability of small robots to move around.
While moving along the surface of the clothing, these robots can arrange themselves in different patterns, giving you a different and smarter look. It’s a sort of modular jewelry, or robotic jewelry, that can complement your looks to suit different occasions and moods. To further jazz up things, the robots can move along a certain type of fabrics and etch a pattern as it moves. So, you can have a temporary pattern drawn on your dress, which you can change anytime.
Wearable Robots? It Goes Beyond Fashion
It’s not just about making you look better. The scientists behind the small fashion robots have been experimenting with some utility functions performed by these robots. They can move around to loosen or tighten the strings of your hood; keep your shirt tucked in neatly all the time; double up as a microphone when a brooch moves up your dress; and so on. So, the applications could be extensive. Sensors placed in your clothing sync up with these small fashion robots to make your clothing futuristic, responsive, and stylish.
“Once these wearable robots become more widely accepted and adopted, they could become an important part of IoT. “
Once these wearable robots become more widely accepted and adopted, they could become an important part of IoT. With billions of devices slated to be part of the worldwide IoT in the coming years, wearable robots could become much smarter and useful.
Roadblocks in Wider Adoption Wearobotics
Project Kino is still in the early stages because a number of issues have to be sorted out. The primary issue is the size of these fashion robots; it is still too big to be of much practical use. The robots need to become much tinier to make it easier to maneuver everywhere. Also, the smaller size will help resolve another big concern right now—power consumption. The wearable fashion robots use battery power to move around on the clothing surface. Currently lasting only up to 45 minutes, they are impractical. Consequently, there is a need for an innovative solution to help the robots last much longer and used throughout the day.
Future Outlook of Fashion Robots
The MIT team behind the project envisions the small robots to be much more closely integrated with the wearer’s personality. Over time, these miniature robots would understand your personality traits, learn your clothing and styling preferences, and anticipate your behavior. In short, the robots will become much smarter, seamlessly blending into what you wear and who you are. Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, a member of the Project Kino team, foresees that these wearable robots would emerge as personal assistants one day.
With time, the wearable robots will also become miniature and last much longer, using more efficient and powerful batteries. Despite the challenges, this latest development has rightfully generated a lot of excitement in the fashion world. It’s the closest that wearables technology has come to making you look good.