Wearables generally stay in place, like on your wrist or clipped under clothes, but they won’t always be so stationary.
At a conference in Tokyo on Monday, researchers from MIT and Stanford shared new miniature on-body robots they’ve developed, called Rovables. The tiny robots crawl vertically on unmodified clothing, meaning there’s no need to wear a special shirt to have them drive on you.
The robots are held in place and able to scale garments with the help of magnetic gripping wheels that sit on either side of the fabric. Using sensors and artificial intelligence, the mini-rovers are partially autonomous. The researchers describe a scenario where the on-body robot crawls into your pocket when it’s not needed.