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Fabric with built-in “muscle”

Swatches | September 1, 2022 | By:

Researchers at Sensory Motor Systems Lab at ETH Zurich have developed a wearable exo-muscle made of fabric. The Myoshirt is a soft, wearable technology to give people with limited mobility more strength and endurance in their upper body. The product features a vest with cuffs for the upper arms and a small box containing the technology not linked to the body. Equipped with sensors, the fabric sends the data to an intelligent algorithm that recognizes what kind of movement a person wants to perform. 

The shirt is equipped with a motor able to move a cable found embedded in the fabric. This cable runs parallel to the muscle, mimicking its movement, and acts like a kind of artificial tendon, supporting the movement. The support is always in line with the movement performed by the user and can be adjusted to individual preferences. Recent tests showed that all participants (those with and without disabilities) were able to lift their arms and/or objects for much longer with the Myoshirt. Photo: Florian Haufe, ETH Zurich

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