US DoD hosts hackathon event for advanced functional fabrics development


The MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator has hosted a hackathon event to promote the development of advanced functional fabrics.

The hackathon initiative has been launched in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Innovation Initiative and the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA).

Under the programme, practitioners, technologists and military specialists will build product prototypes that incorporate functional fabrics to addresses emergency response requirements.

The event took place at the MIT Media Lab and was attended by 180 participants, mentors and staff.

"The event took place at the MIT Media Lab and was attended by 180 participants, mentors and staff."

A total of 23 squads, comprised of students, engineers, fabric experts and designers from the US and several other countries, constructed prototypes and completed their designs during the three-day hackathon.

Of all the squads, the Remote Triage and Security Blanket solutions have been given the opportunity to progress to concept development, which will offer funding of up to $15,000. 

Squad Remote Triage was a team of six MIT students who designed an automated triage system for field medics. 

Their concept consisted of sensor-laden clothing to detect potential injury and a wearable personal digital assistant interface that could prioritise care.

Drexel University student-led Squad Security Blanket is a team of ten which designed a double-sided, multi-purpose blanket for people displaced from their homes during disaster scenarios. 

The blanket was said to help prevent the spread of infectious skin diseases.

MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator is a public-private partnership between the US Department of Defense (DoD), New York University (NYU) and a large network of the country’s top research universities.