'iSoft' Makes Any Object an Interactive Device - Even Fabric


A new type of tactile sensor created at Purdue University  can be easily embedded into fabrics - potentially enabling anything to become an interactive device. 'iSoft' senses in real-time and can perform 'multimodal' sensing, or sensing a variety of stimuli such as continuous contact and stretching in all directions. It does not require any wiring or electronics within the material. Unlike some soft sensors developed previously, iSoft can handle continuous contact and also can be easily modified for custom purposes after manufacture. The sensor uses a piezoresistive elastomer, which when touched changes electrical resistance that provides sensing data. The technology is promising for various applications, from artificial skin in robotics to health monitoring, sports medicine, and tactile clothing as an interactive interface.