Smart dressing will gradually become a common thing in the near future. This will happen as interesting devices are being developed at an increasing rate. One such device is the Zipperbot, a robotics zipper which can zip up automatically. When it comes to human and robotic interaction, Zipperbot is among one of the devices in this category. It was presented earlier this month as a part of Sartorial Robotics Thesis. The device has been created by Adam Whiton.
What does Zipperbot do?
The Zipperbot, the robot is not just limited to zipping up your jacket. With the use of optical sensors, the zipper teeth gets meshed properly and with the use of motion sensors, the bot zips up and unzips at the perfect time. In a test, The Zipperbot was fixed to a form-fitting hobble skirt. It was seen that when the person wearing the skirt moved, the bot tracked the motion and unzipped a little so that the person could walk easily wearing the skirt.
Whiton told Mashable that “Fashion is a form of play with our identities and it will be important for robots/machines to have an understanding of that.”
He added “As robots become more and more sophisticated and work more closely with people, robots will need to understand social signaling which of course includes understanding fashion and sartorial cues.”
About the Creator
Whiton has just got his PhD from MIT’s Personal Robots group. He has established a company named Betazip LLC which is dedicated to the area of sartorial robotics. Zipperbot is the first product of the company. He worked as a researcher with focus on robot skin. However he switched to intelligent fabrics for wearables and clothing. Finally he turned his attention to fashion.
Whiton believes that fashion is not just about looking good, it might help in the interaction between a human and robot.
He said that “[Robots] should understand simple differences like formal business attire versus casual in order to give context to an interaction or something more complex like the act of loosening a tie, which might indicate relaxation.”
As of now, Zipperbot could help disabled people who are unable to dress themselves and also in circumstances where it could turn out to be harmful for people to touch any part of clothing (for instance biohazard suits).
‘Assistive clothing’ could become a trend with Zipperbot.
Are you keen on using Zipperbot? Do you think more such devices should be created which help in smart dressing? We would love to hear your thoughts.