XYZ? Zipperbot Has You Covered #WearableWednesday

Who can resist talking about a bot that turfs zippers? I happened to find this post on Bits and Pieces of the Embedded Design World, which is rather appropriate given its tiny size. Named Zipperbot, this cute invention by Adam Whiton of MIT’s Personal Robots Group is ready to be a helper in your time of need. It falls under Whiton’s larger project name, Sartorial Robots.

Sartorial Robotics is a method of merging fashion theory and robotics through the design and development of robotic systems. These systems facilitate interaction and play as well as mimic the materiality, aesthetics, and construction techniques of textiles, apparel and fashion. This will enhance the social aspects of human-robotic interaction and assist in how we situate robotics in our lives and cultures.

Of course the real question is how it works.

Zipperbot uses optical sensors to properly mesh the zipper teeth and motion sensors to open and close at the right time. While Whiton doesn’t go into the details of how Zipperbot was built, it appears to be comprised of a zipper head, a stepper motor and two wires.


I think what is most interesting about this bot is the possibility of uses. Many people suffer from muscle disease, autism, arthritis or injured limbs. So, the act of putting on clothing every day could be greatly simplified. Also, if there are conditions where hazardous materials or clumsy gloves don’t allow touch, this bot could provide a means of opening and closing tents and protective gear.

When we think of robotics, it’s easy to get swept away by the idea of a walking and talking personal assistant. However, sometimes what is needed is an everyday hack. This little bot may not be helping repair modules in space, but it’s about to make many people’s lives easier. Considering many Asian countries are working on robots to assist their aging populations, this one seems to be a first step in what the world may eventually need.

Want to learn about robots? Why not start out with this little Zumo Robot. You just need an Arduino Uno or Leonardo to get this thing going (no assembly needed). Have fun playing with its sensors and make it play silly music as you push things around. Your cat is going to hate you.

Zumo Robot

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.