Motorskins morphing textile

MotorSkins morphing textiles

fabrics with embedded fluidics for Human-machine interaction

19 April 2022

In a world increasingly dominated by visual and auditory information exchange, MotorSkins morphing textile surfaces bring back touch as a way to interact with the world around us. Their textile systems are capable of sensing and giving haptic feedback. They move on their own and can even help users while moving. This is all possible thanks to a clever and simple design inspired by the movement of plants.

MotorSkins morphing technology does not require any electronics

The Berlin-based company designs and produces textiles with embedded fluidics for Human movement and Human-machine interaction. Depending on the geometry of the fluidic circuit and the chosen materials, different behaviors can be programmed into the system.

Its first product, a dynamic compression garment for legs, uses the movement of the user to provide soft oscillating massage to the calf, combating the negative health effects of standing for long periods of time. What is unique about the system is that it does not require any electronics such as batteries or motors

As the user walks, they compress one part of the system, which transfers volume and pressure to the active part and triggers the dynamic compression. Motorskins products are at the interface of sports, wellness and health, with potential applications in medical devices, safety at work, relaxation, training and even to assist movement.

Motorskins morphing textile - Human movement
Motorskins - Human interaction

For MotorSkins, its textile technology is a means of achieving simple, elegant and affordable solutions for democratizing assistive technology. The company wants to be the ones to bring this change forward.

MotorSkins is also working on additional wearables with a strong social sustainability aspect, in partnership with ITL studio and as part of the European S4Fashion initiative.

This new line of garments will explore the concept of “haptic vision”: merging haptics, aesthetics and advanced function in fashion for the visually impaired. The aim is to produce garments that are more inclusive and that embrace sustainability also in terms of durability and social impact.

Another application of MotorSkins’ technology also makes use of haptic fabrics, though not in apparel: morphing textile surfaces for human-machine interfaces. These are tactile elements such as buttons which can serve for example as discreet control elements, switching from an invisible (flat) state to a visible and active (raised) state.

The idea is to reduce the clutter of audiovisual information and to introduce a new way of information transfer based on textiles and softness. The startup is currently exploring this approach for automotive interiors alongside partners from the industry. For MotorSkins, the future is soft and textiles are the key.

images source: MotorSkins