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Irradiance: Light up the dance floor
This one’s for all the groovers and shakers out there. As part of a fashion show, students at Cornell University studying fiber science and physics have created clothing that actually pulses according to the beat of music. The clothing line, called ‘Irradiance’ consists of strips of electroluminescent tape, optical fiber cloth, LEDs and sensors controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. Sensors detect the beat of music being played after which the microcontroller processes it to pulse the lights and luminescent strips accordingly.
Models wore said garments at the Cornell Fashion Collective, held on April 11.

Intel has an army of robotic spiders controlled with gestures
Imagine if you dare to, an army of robot spiders that can be controlled by gestures. If you’re done having a panic attack, then read on.
At the recently held Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off Curie. Curie is a small computer almost the size of a button that is connected to a wristband. It also controls a swarm of four spiderbots with each flick of his wrist. With each flick, the spiderbots changed the colors of the LEDs embedded in their carapaces, pumped their ‘fists’ and even went as far as going to sleep, all with a wave of Krzanich’s hand (he later woke them up by lifting his hand).

Using an accelerometer and gyroscope to detect arm gestures, Curie then transmits the commands to the robots via a Bluetooth LE module. Curie is based on the Intel Quark SE system chip which was developed with wearable technology in mind. As such, expect it to be embedded into bracelets, rings, pendants etc. It can also accurately interpret if you are walking, running or even swimming.

Now you can turn your stretchy pants into an electrical circuit
With people combining old and new, researchers at Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering have engineered (pun intended) a process using liquid metal alloys that enables printing flexible circuitry onto almost any kind of surfaces including stretchy fabrics and elastic materials. This opens up the doors for new soft machines like pliable robots or wearable computer garments.

By dispersing liquid metal in a non-metallic solvent using ultrasound, the process breaks down the metal into nanoparticles that are compatible with inkjet printing. To make is sound cool, its technical term is ‘mechanically sintered gallium-indium nanoparticles.’

Rebecca Kramer, a researcher at Purdue explains that as liquid metal in its native form is not inkjet-able, they created liquid metal nanoparticles small enough to pass through an inkjet nozzle. Using sonication they mix the liquid metal in a carrier solvent, such as ethanol so after the carrier solvent evaporates, the liquid metal nanoparticles remain which is also coated with a skin of oxidized gallium. This skin prevents electrical conductivity until broken with light pressure, allowing designers to select which portions of a printed circuit to activate.

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