3DKnITS: Three-dimensional Digital Knitting of Intelligent Textile Sensor for Activity Recognition and Biomechanical Monitoring


Irmandy Wicaksono/MIT Media Lab

Irmandy Wicaksono/MIT Media Lab

Wicaksono, I., Hwang, P. G., Droubi, S., Wu, F. X., Serio, A. N., Yan, W., & Paradiso, J.A. (2022). 3DKnITS: Three-dimensional Digital Knitting of Intelligent Textile Sensor for Activity Recognition and Biomechanical Monitoring. IEEE in Medicine and Biology Society.


We present an approach to develop seamless and scalable piezo-resistive matrix-based intelligent textile using digital flat-bed and circular knitting machines. By combining and customizing functional and common yarns, we can design the aesthetics and architecture and engineer both the electrical and mechanical properties of a sensing textile. By incorporating a melting fiber, we propose a method to shape and personalize three-dimensional piezo-resistive fabric structure that can conform to the human body through thermoforming principles. It results in a robust textile structure and intimate interfacing, suppressing sensor drifts and maximizing accuracy while ensuring comfortability. This paper describes our textile design, fabrication approach, wireless hardware system, deep-learning enabled recognition methods, experimental results, and application scenarios. The digital knitting approach enables the fabrication of 2D to 3D pressure-sensitive textile interiors and wearables, including a 45 x 45 cm intelligent mat with 256 pressure-sensing pixels, and a circularly-knitted, form-fitted shoe with 96 sensing pixels across its 3D surface both with linear piezo-resistive sensitivity of 39.4 for up to 500 N load. Our personalized convolutional neural network models are able to classify 7 basic activities and exercises and 7 yoga poses in-real time with 99.6% and 98.7% accuracy respectively. Further, we demonstrate our technology for a variety of applications ranging from rehabilitation and sport science, to wearables and gaming interfaces.

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