151-0073-50L  MetaSuit

SemesterAutumn Semester 2022
LecturersR. Katzschmann
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentThis course is part of a one-year course. The 14 credit points will be issued at the end of FS2023 with new enrolling for the same Focus Project in FS2023.

For MAVT BSc and ITET BSc only.

Prerequisites for the focus projects:
a. Basis examination successfully passed
b. Block 1 and 2 successfully passed

For enrollment, please contact the D-MAVT Student Administration.

AbstractStudents develop soft artificial muscles and integrate these into a full-body suit for immersive experiences. The suit maps the pose and movement of the human body into virtual or augmented reality. The students learn to work in teams, structure problems, identify solutions, perform system analysis, and present. They have access to rapid prototyping facilities and the latest engineering tools.
ObjectiveThe various objectives of the Focus Project are:
- Synthesizing and deepening the theoretical knowledge from the basic courses of the 1. - 4. semester
- Team organization, work in teams, increase of interpersonal skills
- Independence, initiative, independent learning of new topic contents
- Problem structuring, solution identification in indistinct problem definitions, searches of information
- System description and simulation
- Presentation methods, writing of a document
- Ability to make decisions, implementation skills
- Workshop and industrial contacts
- Learning and recess of special knowledge
- Control of most modern engineering tools (Matlab, Simulink, CAD, CAE, PDM)
ContentIn this focus project, students will develop the platform MetaSuit. Together with their team, they design, build, and test a wearable suit that maps the pose and movement of the human body into a virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) space. MetaSuit envisions the integration of soft artificial muscles into a full-body suit for immersive experiences. As core enabling technology will serve hydraulically amplified electrostatic actuators that are used both for proprioception and actuation in this project.

This technology fuses thin dielectric films together to deformable pouches, injects the formed pouches with dielectric oil, and coats them with flexible electrodes. Applying low currents at high voltages actuates these capacitors by having the electrodes zip together and pushing the liquid into a sub-portion of the deformable pouch. The key idea here is to read out the zipped state of these capacitive-type actuators and therefore make them sensors.

The project’s main objective is to create a soft, light, and natural feeling suit that allows users to immerse into a target environment where the user can smoothly move and interact with objects and other users. Such target environments can range from dangerous environments that have to be cleaned up to virtual meeting places that enable learning and training.

The project is led by a team of eight undergraduate researchers that are in their 3rd year of bachelor studies at ETH Zurich. Team members have a background in computer science and mechanical/electrical engineering. The supervision and management of the team is provided by the Soft Robotics Lab. The target date for a successful research demonstration is end of May 2023.

If you like to learn more about this project, please email Prof. Robert Katzschmann (rkk@ethz.ch).
Prerequisites / NoticeBasics of control theory, machine design, and dynamics. Previous exposure to mechatronics or robotic systems will also be helpful.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesassessed
Project Managementassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Customer Orientationassessed
Leadership and Responsibilityassessed
Self-presentation and Social Influence assessed
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityassessed
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsassessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed