Who doesn’t want to wear a soft robotic jacket?!

Published on September 14, 2017
Category Soft Robotic Matter

AMOLF group leader Bas Overvelde has been awarded funding through the programme ‘Creatieve industrie – Kennis Innovatie Mapping’ (KIEM) from NWO Humanities. The funding will go to “Project Cairo: an intelligent soft robotic jacket”. Overvelde will work on this project with the Distributed and Interactive Systems group led by Pablo Cesar (CWI) and with Borre Akkersdijk (Byborre).

The goal of project Cairo is to create an urban jacket that pushes the state-of-the-art of smart-textiles. The jacket will sense and reason about the wearer’s activity, profile and external conditions to trigger changes in its structure and insulation. To build it, the group will exploit new materials developed by Overvelde’s Soft Robotic Matter group, as a way of changing the physical properties of textiles. This will be added to the proven expertise in merging sensor technology and artificial intelligence, developed by CWI, with the innovative textile design and fabrication techniques of Byborre. The team will fine-tune the jacket to assist people commuting by bike, and test it with potential final users applying quantitative and qualitative methods.

The research will address questions such as: how can smart-textiles play a more active role in controlling our environment? Can we design, build and understand technology that goes beyond an attached or even retrofit sensor and make it an integrated part of the textile itself? The project will presumably take place in the period October 2017-March 2018.

Before starting his research group at AMOLF in May 2016, Bas Overvelde did his doctoral studies in applied mathematics at Harvard University. His research at AMOLF is a continuation of the work started at Harvard. More information: