The future of technology is stretchable. Many promising innovations, such as soft robotics, advanced wearable devices, and a broader wave of “smart” products for consumers and industry, are held back by the inherent rigidity of circuit boards, wiring, and electronic components. To make these technologies feasible, electronic circuits need to take a cue from yoga and learn how to stretch it out.
On March 12, a workshop in the new Media Arts, Data and Design (MADD) Center in John Crerar Library taught students a DIY (do it yourself) method for making stretchable electronics with silicone and liquid metal. Led by visiting student Steven Nagels, a graduate student from Belgium working with UChicago CS Assistant Professor Pedro Lopes, the tutorial combined material science and makerspace methods to enable exciting new wearables and other inventions.