Full Text: FibeRobo

Jack Forman, Ozgun Kilic Afsar, Sarah Nicita, Rosalie Hsin-Ju Lin, Liu Yang, Megan Hofmann, Akshay Kothakonda, Zachary Gordon, Cedric Honnet, Kristen Dorsey, Neil Gershenfeld, and Hiroshi Ishii. 2023. FibeRobo: Fabricating 4D Fiber Interfaces by Continuous Drawing of Temperature Tunable Liquid Crystal Elastomers.


We present FibeRobo, a thermally-actuated liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) fiber that can be embedded or structured into textiles and enable silent and responsive interactions with shape-changing, fiber-based interfaces. Three definitive properties distinguish FibeRobo from other actuating fibers explored in HCI. First, they exhibit rapid thermal self-reversing actuation with large displacements (~40%) without twisting. Second, we present a reproducible UV fiber drawing setup that produces hundreds of meters of fiber with a sub-millimeter diameter. Third, FibeRobo is fully compatible with existing textile manufacturing machinery such as weaving looms, embroidery, and industrial knitting machines. This paper contributes to developing temperature-responsive LCE fibers, a facile and scalable fabrication pipeline with optional heating element integration for digital control, mechanical characterization, and the establishment of higher hierarchical textile structures and design space. Finally, we introduce a set of demonstrations that illustrate the design space FibeRobo enables.

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