Most of the keyboards, with which we are familiar – it’s quite complicated pieces of equipment, stuffed with bunch of circuits, cables and keys. But scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand developed an innovative programmable keyboard using a soft, flexible and expandable type of rubber known as a dielectric elastomer. This decision allows us to produce an accessory, not subject to mechanical damage due to impact and falling, as well as a fully dust- and waterproof.
The keyboard has the single layered structure with two layers probing oriented at an angle of 90 degrees with respect to each other. On the surface of the rubber sheet is 9 isolated zones of control. Despite their mechanical connection, they across the touch area are electrically separated. In turn, this allows you to create a sufficient number of keys to be connected to the keyboard with gadgets – tablet computers, smartphones, cameras, etc.
Flexible keyboard can take many forms, roll up into a tube shape several times and used as bracelets with different dimensions. This solution is especially valuable for people working in extreme conditions with the need to have a “hands-free” – doctors, military, rescue, athletes, etc. Moreover, from a dielectric elastomer can produce gloves for creating interactive gestural controllers, it will be interesting to many people and experts from gamers to explorers of space.
Currently the project is in the testing phase,applying gloves from the elastomeric dielectric and virtual computer games. Data on industrial production and the beginning of a possible cost of products of this type not yet. As for the developer Biomimetics Lab,its engineers create creative solutions based on the observation of nature. Today, the lab is a leader in the study of flexible technologies.
Autor Daniel Xu
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