The Aposma Mask, a conceptual soft robotic prosthetic, is made to enhance the emotions of the wearer using colorful liquid actuated through internal channels of the mask. The project was created as part of a Masters thesis project by Sirou Peng, Adi Meyer and Silvia Rueda, students at the Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture and supervised by Ruairi Glynn & Yuri Suzuki.
Built using the resources available on the Soft Robotics Toolkit, the mask works by reading the wearer’s facial muscle movements, learning to recognize a smile from a frown. The user wears the mask over half their face and when an emotion is read the mask actuates to pulse liquid through the molded channels with colors corresponding to that emotion.
Drawing from the Toolkit resource, the mask is quite detailed in construction, adding the element of customization using 3D scanning to create the perfectly sized mask to each wearers face. The scanning also allows for individualized inflation pattern to be made based on the wearer’s facial features and sizing. After the size and proportions of the mask are established the mold for the elastomer is made and channels within the silicone are cast to allow the liquid to permeate the mask.
Once the silicone is cured the device is fitted with the Myoware muscle sensor, allowing it to detect facial muscles when the user is smiling or alternative scowling. The sensor is programmed to an individual’s face in order to recognize their unique facial movements. Once a recognized movement is read the sensor signals to the mask to inject the colored liquid though the passageways in the mask enhancing the emotion read by the sensor.