SINGAPORE – Telekinesis – the ability to shift objects with the mind which has been featured in films such as Star Wars and Carrie – may find a semblance of reality through robotics and ultra-precise motion trackers in gloves to operate machinery.

It has been made possible with soft, flexible circuits in the smart glove that enable accurate tracking of muscular movements, such as subtle twitches, surpassing external sensors found in today’s technology.

The new technology gives users greater precision over machines than via a controller, and can potentially allow those with physical limitations to handle machines remotely. 

Such circuits are being developed at a new Nanyang Technological University (NTU) laboratory, which specialises in creating soft and ultra-thin electronics. These projects were presented to the media for the first time on Feb 14.

The lab, which opened in 2021, is supported by the National Research Foundation and Agency for Science, Technology and Research, among other organisations that support tech innovation.

The lab’s scientists are developing a wide range of early-stage prototypes to see which will help users more, and will work with its partners to deploy such circuits for real-world testing in the next two years, in the fields of environmental monitoring, health tech, robotics and other areas.

Traditional circuits are limiting for designers as they are rigid and typically flat, said Professor Chen Xiaodong, director of the lab at NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering.

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