Project Kino: Robotic Jewelry And Tech Accessory

Researchers from MIT and Stanford are taking the ‘person’ in ‘personal assistant’ to mean something more literal with these robots that scurry around on the user’s clothing.

Project Kino — inspired by living jewelry — are robotic accessories that use magnetic gripping wheels on both sides of the clothing to move about. For now they fill a mostly aesthetic function, creating kinetic accents to one’s attire, but one day they might be able to provide more interactive functionality. They could act as a phone’s mic, adjust clothing to suit the weather, function as high-visibility wear for cyclists or joggers, as haptic feedback sensors for all manner of applications (haptic sonar bodysuit, anyone?), assemble into large displays, and even function as a third — or more! — hand are just the tip of the iceberg for these ‘bots.

Size and the 45 minute battery life are limiting factors at present — both addressable down the line — but a wireless charging station on the user’s person that the robots can top up at is an intermediate solution. In addition, the complex 3D mapping of the user’s person is a bit too much for the Rovables’ microprocessors, so they are only partially autonomous and limited in their movement for now. Still, a personal swarm of these assistant-accessories sounds like some seriously cool near-future tech.

[Thanks for the tip, Itay!]

11 thoughts on “Project Kino: Robotic Jewelry And Tech Accessory

  1. Missing a major market here..fkn ironing.

    Give them little heaters or have them operate in a heated box or something and they can press out the wrinkles and have your shirt ready for morning as they move around.

  2. would it really work in the real world? a bit too distracting at work, and I’m not sure those things’d stay on at a party, probably not while dancing, and if you sit, make sure you don’t cross your arms, etc etc..
    just.. too hassle-ish.

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