Have you ever faced difficulty in correcting your posture due to intense pain or muscular difficulties? If yes, then this self-powered fabric is designed for you. Researchers have finally devised a comfortable and durable “self-powered fabric” that is integrated with sensors and plays an important role in ruling out all of the issues that may hinder smooth body movements. It has also been reported that health issues that are linked to the posture of your body can also increase the probability of cardiovascular diseases, muscular diseases, and problems related to vision.
The sensors in this self-powered fabric are assimilated with triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) and machine learning algorithms. Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) generate energy through the mechanical motion of the body, which then ultimately provides the potential to the sensors. The sensors, on the other hand, bring forth information related to body movement to the integrated machine learning algorithms. The algorithms are programmed in a way that immediately responds to the type of movement and then transmits the message to the user about the maneuver of the posture.
According to the author Kai Dong, who is an associate researcher at the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, “People often sit in various poor postures in their daily life, leading to pain and discomfort. This ‘sitting disease’ could be alleviated if individuals were able to observe their real-time sitting posture by wearing a specific type of clothing made with smart textiles. With the self-powered sitting position monitoring vest we developed, users can watch their posture change on their screen and make necessary adjustments. “
One of the most interesting things to note is the material used in the design. You would be amazed to know that two types of fibers, namely “nylon fiber” and “conductive fiber”, are deployed in the manufacturing process. Due to these two fibers, the phenomenon known as “contact electrification” occurs, which generates electricity through the constant interaction of the two fibers. Zhong Lin Wang, who is a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S., states,
“The flexibility, stretchability, and bending ability all impact the comfort of the wearable sensors. But these factors also affect how well the fabric works. The fabric exhibits good stretchability due to its knitting structure, which also increases its output and produces a higher voltage.” Moreover, it is worth noting that the sensors are attached in accurate positions, which makes it easy for the machine learning algorithms to quickly analyze the posture and transmit this information.
In this way, the whole setup, consisting of sensors and the machine learning algorithms along with the contact electrification process, effectively determines the posture with an accuracy of 96.6%. According to Dong, “We believe the TENG-based self-powered monitoring vest offers a reliable healthcare solution for long-term, non-invasive monitoring.” This also widens the application of triboelectric-based wearable electronics.”