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Lying and sitting more comfortably
Date:12/13/2011

electrical impulse. Measurement electronics connected to the sensor system analyze the data in real time, evaluate them and regulate air cushions located beneath the sensor system. If, for instance, the sensors indicate that the pressure to the rear right is too high, then air is let out of the cushion at that spot the cushioning is modified flexibly and selectively.

While comparable sensor mats already exist, they are so expensive to manufacture that they are unsuitable for the mass market a high resolution sensor mat costs several thousand euros. "Since all the materials we use are inexpensive, we can already produce single items for a few hundred euros," says Woitag. Another advantage is that the weave of the textile employed is breathable and thus prevents moisture buildup. Present systems rely on film technology, which causes sweating.

At around one centimeter, the sensor pad is so thin that it can be integrated in existing applications without any problem. A mat has been prototyped in various shapes and pressure resolutions. First, wheelchair users' lives will be bettered. Then, the researchers intend to test the system in mattresses, too. In addition to the medical field, the experts are setting their sights on other fields of application: Drivers spend long hours behind the wheel and therefore often suffer from back problems. When integrated in truck seats, the sensor mat will provide drivers more comfort and help prevent postural defects. The prototype has already been produced. The researchers have recruited several industry partners, Isringhausen GmbH, warmX GmbH, Rehability GmbH and the Gesellschaft fr Biomechanik Mnster mbH, which are providing them support for their project.


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Contact: Martin Woitag
martin.woitag@iff.fraunhofer.de
49-391-409-0231
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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