This week the British Science Festival is in full swing at the University of Hull. On show are the ‘right trousers’, a set of smart trousers with artificial muscles developed by a professor of robotics at the University of Bristol, Jonathan Rossiter.
The ‘right trousers’ are inspired by Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers and could be a game-changer for people with mobility problems.
Speaking to the Guardian, Jonathan Rossiter explained that his team “have developed lightweight bubble artificial muscles, which could help people to stand up or to lift objects”. Explaining that the advantage of these wearable tech like this is that it can provide assistance while allowing people to continue using their own muscles. “We certainly don’t want people to get weaker [..] We want a balance between assistance and a rehabilitative device.”
The team have also developed other smart-tech. A graphene knee brace responds to body temperature becoming harder or softer, and a wearable pad can stimulate muscles through the skin.
The smart trouser tech is still in development, but the team believe that elements of the design, like the artificial muscles, are now ready for testing on people. Hopefully this type of tech will become ubiquitous in the future.