Okay, unless you are a giant with a monster fly, this little guy from MIT’s Personal Robot Group (as designed by PhD candidate Adam Whiton’s thesis) won’t be taking care of your jeans any time soon. But sleeves, jackets, and surface zippers? The sartorial robot has got those suckers down.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, readers: isn’t this a terrible idea that, at best, will make everybody too lazy to move their arms and, at worst, will end with a whole lot of body parts getting accidentally caught up in little tiny zipper teeth? That’s easy to say when you’re in full control of your thumbs and fingers, but for a lot of people with decreased mobility or missing limbs, not having to ask another person to help you close your sweatshirt when you get cold would be a nice change of pace. Zippers are also used for Hazmat suits, scuba diving dry suits, and other gear where an air- or watertight seal is needed, so an automatic zip-up might actually be pretty useful.
As Personal Robot Group notes, “Merging robotics and fashion within the practice of Sartorial Robotics will enhance the explorations of identities for both humans and robots.” Just, you know, don’t tell the zipper robot that his only purpose is to close zippers. That never works out well.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]