Fusing fashion and tech with an Atmel powered robotic dress

A collaboration between 360 Fashion Network CEO Anina Net, Polish couture designer Michal Starost and IT architect Bruce Bateman has led to world’s first robotic dress powered by Atmel microcontrollers (MCUs).

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The dress made its catwalk debut at the “When Technology Meets Fashion” event held during Beijing Design Week.

Aside from an Atmel MCU, the robotic garment features 6 servo-controlled support arms comprised of fiberglass reinforced with aluminum, custom software and a high-powered battery pack. In what sounds like something out of Hunger Games, the arms lift in sync to convert the dress from a day dress to an evening gown.

While the current version of the dress is not Internet-connected and does not employ any sensors, we can surely expect to see further advancements in coming months.

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In fact, Anina says 360Fashion Network is currently on another version that will be smartphone-controlled to lift the dress to the wearer’s desired length. Additionally, future iterations may even monitor vital signs and change color or form depending on the body temperature or heart rate of the wearer.

“More advanced iterations might also communicate with networked databases, adapting the color, weave, pattern, length, and style of the dress based on real-time information on new cultural trends, environmental changes, news developments, or weather conditions. The speed at which such innovations can be realized, however, will depend heavily on progress in fabric technology,” the company wrote in a recent blog post.

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This robotic dress wasn’t the only eye-opening garment exhibited during Design Week. The team at 360Fashion Network also unveiled four dresses that integrated lasers into the fabric as a key design element.

From an [ATmega32u4 based] Katniss Everdeen LED dress to an [Arduino powered] personal space skirt, we are only at the mere beginning of fashion and technology’s coalescence. Like stylists to the latest trends, we’ll be there to piece together these next-gen creations using an assortment of 8- and 32-bit MCUs.

 

 

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