Artificial Intelligence: Indian Engineer Duo Builds AI-Powered ‘Smart’ Jacket Made of Graphene

September 23, 2022 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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The jacket is meant to keep Indian soldiers warm in Himalayan winters.

Khushboo Patel, an engineering graduate from Surat and Neel Panchal, co-founder of graphene manufacturing startup LHP Nanotechnologies have got together to develop a jacket made of graphene for the Indian Armed Forces that would keep soldiers warm and comfortable even in the harshest of climate. (The Better India)

A study by scientists at the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute confirmed that graphene-based clothing were equally comfortable to wear when temperatures were either hot or cold. This property of the clothing came about due to dynamic thermal radiation, meaning that graphene layers could change the radiation emitted based on temperature. Graphene is also very suitable for clothing because the material is extremely thin, while being flexible and strong.

Both Khushboo and Neel had previous knowledge and experience of graphene and were conversant with its properties. At the same time, Neel was looking to join forces with someone to develop a garment for the Armed Forces using graphene.

The two commenced working on the idea in October 2019, and by January 2020, had developed a proof of concept dubbed “heated winter jacket” which they presented to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Army Day.

After additional work that lasted 2 1/2 years the pair was able to complete the jacket which featured several critical components. Many of these needed specialised manufacturing processes unlike traditional jackets. The founders then proceeded to integrate an AI feature in the jacket that would automatically maintain a comfortable range of temperature in an automatic mode for the wearer.

According to Neel, the software learnt the wearer’s personal preferences in different settings within a short span of time and then began to automatically adjust the jacket to their comfortable temperature.

They had to content with various crucial parameters and specifications because of the jacket’s application in the Armed Forces. “The most crucial parameters were the efficiency of the jacket, ensuring a lightweight nature, longer operating time, durability, and flexibility. Every element had to be redesigned to withstand the harsh climes,” says Neel.

The jacket features protection against extreme cold temperatures as low as -50°C, and eliminates the need to wear multiple layers of warm clothing. The product is currently being tested and would be sent to the Indian Army Design Bureau for onward transfer to Army personnel stationed at Ladakh and Siachen.

If approved, it would be on sale from January.

Related Story: Thematic ETF From Global X Targets Disruptive Materials

Image Credit: The Better India

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