A textile sensor monitors the state of fatigue of joggers


A textile sensor monitors the state of body fatigue during exercise

ETH researchers have developed an electronic thread that can be integrated into sports clothing.

Posted24 mars 2023, 15:29

The textile sensor located above the knee is connected to an antenna integrated in the belt. Together they form a circuit that can be used to measure movements.

Pexels/ETH Zurich/Photomontage

ETHZ engineers led by Professor Carlo Menon have developed a textile sensor capable of detecting when joggers are beginning to tire and warning them of an imminent risk of injury.

Their solution is a special wire that expands when pulled, generating an electrical signal. “Unlike most other materials, ours actually gets thicker when stretched,” the researchers explain in the ETHZ statement. As a result, the thread is considerably more sensitive to minute movements. Stretching it even a little produces clearly measurable fluctuations in sensor load. This makes it possible to measure and analyze even subtle changes in running form.”

In the case of use presented, the sensor of readings of movements is integrated into a running legging at knee height. It is connected to an antenna integrated into the belt to send information to a smartphone.

The electrical signal passes from the stretch sensor to the antenna, which transmits it at a certain frequency that can be read by a smartphone.

Valeria Galli/ETH Zurich

The Zurich researchers have filed a patent for their solution, which has the advantage of working without batteries and computer chips. They hope to have paved the way for a new generation of smart clothing through very precise body measurements. Their electronic thread can be integrated directly into the fibers of the material of the clothing and close to the body. This makes large-scale production both easier and cheaper, the Zurich team pointed out.

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