Flex is an elegant wearable designed to sense muscle activity in your arm. Using intuitive tap, tilt, and flex gestures, Flex controls a robot with the electrical EMG signals from your muscles. Simply flex to move and tilt to steer. Designed to comfortably sit on your wrist, Flex is 3D printed out of resin with layers thinner than a sheet of paper.

Flex is accompanied by an advanced robot, custom designed and laser cut to house immense power and advanced technologies. With four wheel drive and high capacity rechargeable batteries, the robot is equipped to tackle rough terrain. With a full computer on board, the robot can communicate with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and radio. This wireless communication enables HD live streaming of a pan-tilt camera. 32 smart full-color LEDs and 2 OLED displays add to the visual appeal of the carefully designed bi-layer acrylic chassis.

Flex introduces a whole new way to interact with electronics with your wrist in a slim, stylish wearable. Applications for Flex include adding a new level of interactivity with live music performances by controlling software synths with your muscles. The opportunity for Flex to assist with physical therapy is compelling to make recovery fun, interactive, and trackable. Flex also can empower people with disabilities use a computer, especially young children.

What inspired you (or your team)?

Through all my projects, I seek to solve real problems by means of innovative technologies. When I learned how inexpensive and compact EMG muscle sensors have become, I realized the great potential for making technology more interactive, especially for those with disabilities. I decided to design and build an intuitive, wireless input using only a single muscle. The idea for Flex was born. I built the robot hand in hand with Flex, utilizing my electrical engineering, CAD design, software development, laser cutting, and 3D printing skills.