For the moving part of the MCR Helmet I have developed a new material I am calling Flex Felt. I take a rigid recycled PET felt, supplied by the excellent The Collective, and by strategically removing some of the material I can create areas of flexibility. I then use a custom made very long needle to insert a wire, and this create a ‘muscle’ to move the felt flesh.
I can control the shape and position of the curve formed when it flexes by removing more or less material in certain areas. I can then use a motor hooked up to the Muse Headband to create a material that reacts to live data from your brain.
I test the strength of motor needed by seeing how many litres of water is needed to pull the piece into the desired shape.
It’s taken many, many, many hours of trail and error with the laser cutter to develop the material, striking the perfect balance between flexibility and strength. Remove too much material I cut through the felt, or over weaken the material to the degree it no longer has the plastic strength to return to its shape after being bent. If I don’t remove enough it ia too hard for the small motor required to bend.