Spring 2023

MIT Computing Fabrics

Collaborator Sailin Zhong

Awards & Publication- DIS’23 Conference 

#Affective Device
#Machine Knitting
#Connectedness with Nature
#Soft robot
#Embodied Experience


NugiTex is a line of interactive, afective wearable garments that convey the embodied experience of plants us- ing device-initiated haptic cues. The haptic cuesrefect a plant’s“comfort”level based on proximal environmental conditions, aiming to increase awareness and induce feelings of closeness, symbiosis, and empathy with the user’s natural environment. Variationsin temperature and humidity in a room are then interpreted and translated into three types of haptic cues - shrinking, hard pushing, and mild pushing -each a metaphorical representation of the plant’s condition. Users are given these real-time haptic cues through FlowIO, a pneumatic platform for controlling the airfow and pressure of soft devices. We predict that the increase in awareness of natural entities through interactive embodied experiences will pro- mote the Inclusion of Nature in Self (INS), and encourage pro-environmental behaviors.

Composed of infatable silicone and non-elastic textile layers, NugiTex responds to nearby atmospheric conditions such as temperature and humidity levels, which are measured in real-time by AirSpec, smart eyeglasses fitted with sensorsto collect environmental data.


(a) NugiTex consists of two layers of knitted textile and a silicone layer (b) A single-bed knitting machine is used to fabricate textile layers
of two wearable garments: an arm warmer and a neck warmer. (c) By transferring stitches to an adjacent needle using a single-eye transfer tool, six lace holes (eyelets) on a neck warmer are designed to simulate both gentle and hard haptic pushes from elastomers patterned with six 30 mm-di- ameter circles. Transferring the bottom purls to stitches creates a tubular-shaped space to insert an elastomer for shrinking behavior when actuated

We allowed visitors to either wear or touch the garment laying on a table. For our final demonstration, the interaction with the haptic wearables will be set up in the form of an art installation capable of accommodating two participants at once.