Duration: April 2023 - September 2024

Funder: UWear 

Research Team: Prof. Farina


Human skin stretches and compresses during movements. Knowing the skin deformation as a function of limb kinematics is strictly necessary for the large-scale deployment of wearable systems, such as textiles with embedded electrodes or sockets for prostheses. However, predicting these skin deformations accurately is currently not possible. U-WEAR (“A portable skin deformation measurement platform for user-specific wearable interface design”) aims to develop a user-specific measurement platform to inform the design of biomechanically seamless interfaces with the skin that become a natural extension of the wearer. The project has been developed as an extension to the research conducted under the ERC Synergy Grant Natural BionicS that aims to control and sense soft-robotic prosthetic limbs. Crucial for prostheses to truly become a natural extension of the wearer is the interface between the wearer and the bionic system, i.e. the prosthetic socket. The design of this interface is critical for the acceptability and efficacy of bionic limbs. U-WEAR will address this gap in prosthetics, as well as in several other wearable robots such as soft exoskeletons, by developing an affordable, fast and accurate motion capture-based platform with machine-learning-based dynamics modelling, enabling physics/mathematics analyses of skin deformation during movement. U-WEAR will provide a subject-specific quantitative understanding of skin biomechanics, and how limb surface and volume change during limb movements. The successful realisation of this framework will open opportunities in applications ranging from wearable robots to planning in reconstructive surgery, and clothing and footwear. The developed technology will be translated into a market product by a spin-off company which will progressively, in three stages, address the markets of the scientific research community and of large corporates.