Sensor Technology Research Centre


Shape sensing textile for orthotics


Start date: 01.02.2018
End date: 31.01.2021

Orthotic products are of great importance to a number of people around the world. The process of fabricating orthoses is well established, but depends on a time and resource consuming plaster cast method developed over 100 years ago. This is associated to a number of reasons e.g. the fact that an Orthotist has to shape the patient's body to define the shape of an orthosis. In particular in the case of children or patients with joint contractures and anatomical deformities, such as those affected with neurological and neuromuscular medical conditions, such as Cerebral Palsy. This issue prevents the efficient application of MRI, CT or optical imaging techniques, because these require extensive post-processing to discriminate between the patient's body and the Orthotist's hands.
Here we want to develop a smart, portable and stretchable textile sleeve with integrated sensors connected to a smartphone to realize an entirely new, versatile, and wearable body shape imaging technique. The digital limb models by our system can then be used for the computer aided fabrication of customized orthotics, without the need for significant infrastructure.

Project partners

The project is lead by the University of Sussex and suported by industrial and reseach partners.

Flexible Electronics Laboratory
Wearable Technologies Laboratory




Team members



This project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Global Challenges Research Fund, and the National Institute for Health Research, under the contract number: EP/R013837/1