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How Animatronic Clothes Work 97

bethr writes " has an article about the inner-workings of the animatronic clothes featured at a recent Paris runway show. The dresses use computerized motors and monofilament wires to radically transform from one style to another. From the article: 'Zippers closed, cloth gathered, and hemlines rose — all without human assistance.' You can see the finished product in the second half of a video of the show."
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How Animatronic Clothes Work

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  • by wealthychef ( 584778 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:39PM (#16524617)
    I'd hate to see what the new definition of "wardrobe malfunction" will be now!
  • "Zippers un-zipped, cloth fell off, and hemlines fell"
  • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:46PM (#16524659)
    Hopefully, they can figure out how to put some emotion on those faces!
  • A perfect way to make it more painful if/when you get your balls or other soft tissues caught in the zipper...
  • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:49PM (#16524681) Homepage Journal
    So basically, women in the future will walk around naked with lampshades on their heads? This seems like integrating technology in clothing just for shock value ... I can't imagine most women will want to wear giant hats just so they automatically change/rearrange their clothes.

    However, I think there will certainly be some really cool tech clothing in the future. For example, Philips has displayed really cool animated LED t-shirts (if you haven't seen the video, check it out here []), that if they could be made washable would probably spread like wildfire through our schools. Integrated music, computers, and even temperature control are possible/probably in the near future.
    • Yeah, those hats are dumb (said Eliza Doolittle). However, the bits I saw with the animatronic clothes had no hats on the models. So apparently the hats had nothing to do with the clothes' rearrangements.
      • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:55PM (#16524731) Homepage Journal
        Skip to the end. There's a mostly nude model wearing a massive hat and a thin veil like gown. She truly does look like a big skinny lamp. All of a sudden, the hat starts pulling up the gown until she's standing their completely nude - really rather ridiculous.
        • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:03PM (#16524787)
          I'd look at the video again, but after a description like that, you KNOW it's slashdotted now.
          • The web site you are accessing has experienced an unexpected error.
            Please contact the website administrator.

            The following information is meant for the website developer for debugging purposes.

            Error Occurred While Processing Request
            Error Executing Database Query.
            Communications link failure due to underlying exception: ** BEGIN NESTED EXCEPTION ** MESSAGE: Connection refused: connect STACKTRACE: Connection
        • The link is /.'ed for me
          but the video is still live
          (16 minutes long)
          mms:// 8h.wmv
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Skrapion ( 955066 )
            Slashdot seems set on screwing up URLs with the mms protocol. This link should work. []

            The animatronic stuff starts at about the 10 minute mark, and there's full frontal nudity at around the 15:30 mark, in case you're at work.
        • by no-body ( 127863 )
          really rather ridiculous

          Technology review page warns: "nudity"

          So - to see humans in their original gestalt is something one has to be warned of.

          I wonder who is more wrong here - the one doing the "offending" or the "offended".

          • I'm possitive he thought that it was 'really rather ridiculous' because she looked like a LAMP SHADE, and that no-one would want a thin gown type thing that folded up into a giant, oversized hat :P
        • by GNious ( 953874 )
          Interesting that the nude model is one of the shortest - apparently thats her only chance of a career?
          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Or maybe because she was the only one who looked good naked. The rest were too thin.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      So basically, women in the future will walk around naked with lampshades on their heads?

      Well, as long as you stay away from Wal-Mart that should work out ok.

    • Halloween Show? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But whos idea was it to put costumes on the skeletons?
  • by Chouonsoku ( 1009817 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:52PM (#16524709) Homepage
    No more worrying about my fly being open.
  • We made, for want of a better term, little bum pads for the models. So on their buttocks were some hard containers, and within these containers we had all the battery packs, controlling chips--the microcontrollers and microswitches--and little geared motors.

    A representative at Sony was quick to reassure the designer than on one's ass would be burnt on this one.

  • Lies not in getting them to change shape, but in getting they to change either color or flexability. I find it interesting that there is at least one designer exploring the posability of shape changing garments, even if it seemed largely for the "wow" factor.

    Highly impractical, and yet the inevitable evoloution of it is definately something to think about.

  • Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr_nuff ( 212669 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:16PM (#16524867) Journal
    YouTube link for those wanting to skip straight to the nudity []
  • Just the beginning. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gt_mattex ( 1016103 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:31PM (#16524973)

    Think of the possibilities.

    You could have a shirt or pant made of micro-filament optical cord giving you the ability to change the color of your shirt on the fly. Hell shoes are already 'helping' you jump higher it seems pretty straightforward that clothing that can assist you in other ways would be next.

  • Where was Marty McFly and his year 2015 jacket?
  • Tubes (Score:5, Funny)

    by RealGrouchy ( 943109 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:40PM (#16525059)
    Some of the corsets were very complicated. They had 30 or 40 of these little tubes running everywhere, carrying these little cables, each doing its little job, lifting things up or releasing little linked metallic plates. There was a huge amount of stuff going on beneath the clothes.

    So in a way, it's like they were each wearing their own little internet!

    - RG>
  • fun stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by capologist ( 310783 ) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:49PM (#16525127)
    This could have some interesting practical joke potential. Gift somebody some clothes, keep a remote control for yourself...
  • Style/Fashion... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by aicrules ( 819392 )
    So, now they have another way to make absolutely ridiculous looking outfits that would never have any practical purpose outside the runway. Or would it actually be considered useful for your dress to fan out, showing off whatever you might have underneath, while it transforms into a nearly identical version of itself.

    I suppose this could be useful for criminals trying to evade the police. Then again, how many 5 ft 11 in 80lb people would there be skulking around the bank.

    Honestly, fashion shows should rea
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, okay, some of them could be renamed "Designer X wanted to see Model Y's boobs so he 'designed' a dress lacking any substance above the waist" shows.

      I doubt it. Designer X is probably gay.

  • Shoes: Size adjusting... Fit.

    Marty: Power laces—alright!

    That would be insanely cool, but I don't think I'd want to wear my pants inside-out; even if it will be the in thing.

  • BTW... (Score:1, Funny)

    I hope that they aren't using Dell batteries!
  • you don't wear clothes, clothes wear you...
  • There have been several sightings of Slashdotters' clothes -- most prevalently shorts and pants, though there has been rumor of an isolated incident involving socks -- exhibiting a similar "transformative" characteristic upon viewing of this video.
  • Frog-Shirt (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:24AM (#16525915)
    I grew up in Japan in the early 80s and even though I didnt know Japanese, I would still watch Japanese cartoons. The premise of this cartoon was kinda crazy but was pretty entertaining even though I didnt understand most of the was going on.
    There was this one particular cartoon where a boy was trying to catch a green frog, the boy leaped on top of this frog and somehow the frog got stuck to his white shirt. For some reason this frog was permanently attached to his shirt? Turns out this frog-shirt was very intelligent and bizarrely enough could speak...over time they became buddies. Of course being good friends the boy would wear his frog-shirt everywhere he went.
    Some of their adventures envoled normal boyhood adversity like dealing with the bully at school or trying to convince the teachers that the frog-shirt is not helping him cheat on exams and so on.
    In one funny episode...because of jealousy the boy and the frog-shirt get into a major aurgument over a girl they have a crush on. They get into a physical brawl to the point where the boy cast off the frog-shirt and they go their separate ways. The boy and the frog-shirt start to compete in trying to win the affections of this girl. One would give the girl flowers, so the other would try to out do him by getting her a box of chocolates or jewelry. This gift giving would soon start to escalate. They both go out to get jobs to earn money to keep up with this gift giving frenzy, all the while their friendship was going sour.
    End the end they both come to the realization that the girl was just using both of them for monetary gain. They both snub the girl and thus preserve their friendship.
    I think this Cartoon was a warning, a foretelling of the future. Animatronic Clothes may try to still your girlfriends. Please lets band together to prevent this! Food for thought.
  • by viking80 ( 697716 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:31AM (#16525953) Journal
    So finally the problem of removing the bra has been solved.
  • by oohshiny ( 998054 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @01:44AM (#16526009)
    from Janet Jackson's bustier.
  • So we can now transform loose light weight clothing into slightly different configurations through motors that can last atleast the 30 seconds necessary for a fashion show on 80 pound models that avoid body movements. Seems pretty useless to me, why's this on /.?
    • So we can now transform loose light weight clothing into slightly different configurations through motors that can last atleast the 30 seconds necessary for a fashion show on 80 pound models that avoid body movements. Seems pretty useless to me, why's this on /.?

      I could be wrong, but I think it's the naked model at the end. =P
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
  • There's an effort at MIT to develop Mechanically Active Materials [].

    "Team 2 is developing nanomaterials that are capable of mechanical actuation and dynamic stiffness. As part of the soldier's battlesuit, these adaptive multifunctional materials will improve soldier survivability.

    Mechanical actuators embedded as part of a soldier's uniform will allow a transformation from a flexible and compliant material to a non-compliant material that becomes armor, thus protecting the soldier by distributing impact.

  • Given that all the models walk like manically depressed androids with broken arm-servo's. What's with that stupid walk anyway?
  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Saturday October 21, 2006 @07:09AM (#16527181)
    The fashion industry has no redeeming value whatsoever.
  • Judging by how fast the models end up nekkid, I'd say badly.


    • Judging by how fast the models end up nekkid, I'd say badly.

      Judging by how fast the models end up nekkid, I'd say great .

      There... fixed that for you.
  • WARNING! Link is to film with several exposed breasts and one totally naked girl! DO NOT LOOK IF YOU VALUE YOUR IMMORTAL, Jesus-loving SOUL!

    Note to humor impaired: Ah, why bother. Nevermind.
  • Looks like they French fasion industry has perfected cloning but are too thin. Some of the clothing was interesting but I wonder how they kept people from popping the bubbles on the one with the jumbo bubblewrap.
  • ... research into finite improbability which was often used to break the ice at parties by making all the molecules in the hostess' undergarments leap one foot simultaneously to the left in accordance with the theory of indeterminacy.

    Many respectful physicists said they wouldn't go to stand for that sort of thing, partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sort of parties.

    Douglas Adams. A man a head of his time...

  • Slashdotted already, the page is broken.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"