I am posting a bit earlier this week because of the July 4th holiday. These past two weeks have been quite busy. We are excited at the progress we have made. Swamy, our PhD advisor had created a circuit for the EL wire panel. I worked largely on designing and creating the physical knee enclosure so that it could be integrated with the technology. Below are two views of our finished first prototype.
I also created components for each of the electrical components hidden beneath the EL panel. The panel and circuit are shown below.
The next steps involve creating a second iteration with improvements based on what was learned through this iteration. In the coming month, we will be doing studies with physical therapy patients. Swamy is working on IRB paperwork now and Alice and I will be creating another prototype so that we can have a back up in case the current one has a problem during a study. This means that we will need to create another circuit and enclosure. Meanwhile, we will also test our prototype on the data it gathers from the bend sensor and fix any kinks that come out in data analysis. It has been exciting to see the design as it went from the paper model I created to a durable neoprene knee enclosure. W
From this prototype, I have learned new techniques in integrating the electronics with the textiles and have discovered new ways to sew more effectively with the technology. We also are exploring a more durable EL wire connection, because our prototype ran into some connection problems since we had manipulated the EL wire connection in the circuit so many times.
Happy July 4th!