A team of students from Cornell University have created an electric vest embedded with piezoelectric cells and tiny motors that massages the wearer’s back and shoulders. The vest mimics a human touch and was built to relieve stress and the negative health effects that come with it.
The body produces cortisol under stress and prolonged release of this is linked to obesity, depression, heart disease, hypertension and a compromised immune system. Students Marina Gaeta, Eric Beaudette and Hadi Hosseinzadegan worked with professors Amit Lal and Huiju Park on the vest, which demonstrates how technology can be used to alleviate medical concerns in innovative ways.
The team’s invention earned them a $10,000 Innovation Award from Cornell’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. With the prize money, Hosseinzadegan is working on a flexible circuit that will join more smoothly with the fabric of the vest, Beaudette is incorporating Lycra spandex for a better fit, and Gaeta will test the vest’s physiological effects through human trials this fall.