Penn State researchers working with Engineering Professors Huanyu “Larry” Cheng and Dorothy Quiggle Career are devising wearable solutions that are “as economical, sustainable, and hardy as possible,” said Cheng (pictured above). The team was awarded a $150,000 grant from Meta Reality Labs, Facebook’s technology development branch, to explore such potential.
So far the team has developed a graphene-based-foam device powered by harvesting energy from the movements of the person wearing it. The energy can be stored as electrical energy in micro-supercapacitors. The team then developed a sensor that measures users’ vital signs without the need for a power supply.
The team also designed a wearable sensor for detecting blood pressure and movement using a small skin patch made of tissue paper. The paper was dipped into conductive material and then fashioned into a 3D scaffold and encapsulated to become a sensor that sticks to the skin.