Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a small wearable robot called Calico. Weighing only 18 grams, the robot is attached to a special rail sewn onto the clothes and enables it, for example, to listen to a person’s heart and lungs or teach proper exercise techniques.

One of Calico’s biggest challenges was positioning. GPS is not accurate enough to help pinpoint the location of the robot on clothing. The researchers solved this problem by embedding neodymium magnets, which can be used as markers, into a cloth track at regular intervals. Using built-in sensors, Calico can detect these magnets and use them to estimate the robot’s position. In this way, he can effectively plan his work while moving along the body.

The robot can carry a load of 20 grams and can reach speeds between 115 mm/s and 227 mm/s. The rover’s 100 milliampere-hour battery lasts more than 8 hours at rest or 30 minutes of continuous movement. Wireless charging can further extend the robot’s operating time.

The addition of a microphone and stethoscope allows the robot to listen to the human body. The robot can move to a predetermined location to listen to your organs. The same can be done remotely by a doctor in real time. And since the system already has an accelerometer, it can be used to detect falls.

If you want to learn how to dance or get coaching for fitness exercises, the robot can guide you through certain moves, track your form, and give you feedback on your performance. In medicine, following a similar idea, a robot can be used in rehabilitation as a motivator for performing exercises and as a progress monitor.

Source: Spectrum