Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


StretchSense excels at innovation awards

Media Release

The University of Auckland

21st  October 2013

StretchSense excels at innovation awards

An Auckland company that has developed wireless soft sensors for applications in healthcare, motion capture, and human-machine interactions has won two major innovation awards.

StretchSense  won both the ‘Innovation in Design and Engineering’ and ‘Emerging New Zealand Innovator’ awards at the New Zealand Innovation Awards in Auckland last night.

StretchSense  emerged from research done at the University of Auckland’s Biomimetics Laboratory  and is run day-to-day by two former students of the University’s Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) and is incubated at the Institute. 

“We use small, light soft sensors for measuring human body motion – linked to a Bluetooth sensor transmission circuit that can be used with an app for android phones”, says StretchSense CEO, Ben O’Brien.

“We can apply it to anything you can measure, because it is so precise and reliable,” he says. “For example, they can be used in rehabilitation applications for physiotherapists to track movement and a changing target over time – such as an improving knee injury.”

These sensors, made of polymers, can be sewn into clothing, (such as a pressure support wrap for a knee), and give real time results and personal information about improvements and exercising.

The company has developed the wireless soft sensors for applications in healthcare, motion capture, and human-machine interactions.

StretchSense has only been operating since late last year, had its first local sales in January this year and in March gained customers in the United States.  In September, Ben joined a New Zealand trade delegation to San Francisco for the week long NZ Health Innovation showcase – his first sales trip overseas for the company.

Ben set the company up with fellow researchers and co-founders; Dr Todd Gisby (CTO), Dr Tom MacKay, and his PhD supervisor and ABI Biomimetics research leader, Associate Professor Iain Anderson from Engineering Science (COO). 

“We’re very grateful to the ABI for incubating us,” says Ben.  This product comes out of the research we did in the Biomimetics Lab and Todd and I left our jobs to develop this and get it out to industry.”

Ben and Todd both have a background in mechatronics with a Bachelor of Mechatronics from the University’s Faculty of Engineering followed by PhD research in the ABI’s Biomimetics Lab.  Ben’s doctoral research was supported by a Bright Future Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship and in 2010 he was awarded a two-year Rutherford Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship.

Before StretchSense, Ben’s research focussed on artificial muscles called dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) that when given an electric charge, change their shape.

Inspired by examples from nature, Ben realised that arrays of artificial muscle actuators could be made to interact in useful ways and without the need for cumbersome control software and hardware.

During his work he invented a novel way to combine actuation, sensing, and logic into one unit: the dielectric elastomer switch (DES). This breakthrough has opened the door to truly soft and intelligent machines.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Post-Post: Brian Roche To Step Down As NZ Post CEO

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news