Graduate internship

Topic: Designing and manufacturing
a wearable prototype for social touch

  • Would you like to contribute to the development of a revolutionary smart textile?
  • Are you pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Textile Technologies, Design or Materials?
  • Are you familiar with prototyping techniques and sewing?

Who we are

Elitac Wearables develops wearables with integrated electronics. Our main focus is on the Medical and Safety domains, where our wearables help improve quality of life, quality of medical care and safety.

We are a young, dynamic and multidisciplinary team who develop wearables in collaboration with partners, from idea to successful product. The team consists of experts from all the relevant disciplines such as Hardware, Software, Industrial Design, Textile Design, Research, Business Development and Marketing.

Elitac Wearables lab team at work

Project WEAFING

The graduation project relates to the R&D project ‘WEAFING’ and will be an assignment at Elitac Wearables, located in Utrecht.

Topic: Design and Manufacture a wearable prototype for social touch use case

Elitac Wearables is a partner in the EU-funded research project WEAFING. The goal of this project is to develop novel, unprecedented garments for haptic stimulation comprising flexible and wearable textile actuators The project duration is 2019-2023. The consortium consists of university partners from Sweden (Hogskolan Boras & Linkoeping University), The Netherlands (TU Twente), France (Cergy Paris Universite), and two SMEs: Wearable Technologies in Germany and Elitac Wearables in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Within the WEAFING project, Elitac Wearables is working on the demonstrator garment that shows the potential of the actuator technology that is developed during this project.

Social touch

Recently, the consortium decided on the use case Social Touch: a virtual touch accessory for use during remote communication. Social touch allows for an improved and more emotional connection during remote communication. It is addressed toward elderly people living in residences who do not have the chance to visit their children or grandchildren as often as needed and thus suffer from lack of social contact. The WEAFING technology needs to be integrated in a wearable sleeve that can be worn during a video call and transmits different haptic touches – like strokes, taps, squeezes – to the person at the other end of the call.

Developing a demonstrator garment

In this first stage, a demonstrator needs to be manufactured that fulfils the requirements of the consortium. Alternative technologies (e.g. vibrotactile actuators, small tubes that work with pneumatics, etc.) will serve as placeholders to simulate the yet to be developed textile actuator technology. The demonstrator will be important in informing and driving the requirements for the newly developed actuator. At a later stage of the project, the plan is to replace the alternative technology with the actual technology.

Tasks

Design and manufacture a first prototype:

  • Interaction with consortium partners in order to determine the form factor of the sleeve and replacement actuators.
  • The prototype requirements are based on the requirements of the selected use case: robust, adjustable to different sizes, comfortable to wear, easy to put on, not slippery (and possible additional other requirements from the consortium) – these drive development
  • Determine:
    • Material
    • Position of control module and other components
    • Alternative actuator(s) as placeholder
    • Interconnection technique to connect dummy samples from partners

Deliverables

  1. Working prototype; main focus on different social touch patterns, secondary on aesthetics. Able to demonstrate and mimic the possibilities of the newly developed Weafing ‘artificial muscle fibre/textile’.
  2. List of requirements, approved by the consortium.

Requirements

  • Experience in Prototyping and Sewing.
  • You are pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in the field of Textile Technologies, Design or Materials.
  • You are creative and open-minded and keen to develop a new, innovative technology.

Our offer

  • Being part in a young and ambitious team;
  • Internal coaching and training by multi disciplines;
  • Lots of independence and freedom in the execution of the job;
  • A brand-new office with a Wearables Lab where we print, mould, solder, laser cut and sew our wearables;
  • Enthusiastic and experienced colleagues;
  • Above average internship allowance;
  • Informal work environment with good coffee, daily lunch and fruit.

Interested? What are you waiting for? Get in touch: Send your motivation and resume to Christina Bodenstein (Head of Operations). We look forward to meeting you virtually or at our office in Utrecht!

Follow Us

Follow us for updates on our innovative projects, events and developments