Featured Advice
What are your interests?



Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Logo for University of Limerick

UL scientists to help build smart clothing of the future

Posted on February 24, 2017

Constructing ‘smart clothing’ is less fashion, more function, with University of Limerick part of a Horizon 2020 project building added mobility exoskeletons for the old and injured.

Movement intention is the key to the latest Horizon 2020 (H2020) project to land on Irish shores, with designers at University of Limerick (UL) at the forefront of a soft-robotics future.

Aimed at the old and impaired, a soft exoskeleton to aid mobility is being created by nine partner institutions, with UL handling the front-facing, fashion-conscious role that will bring soft robotics to the masses.

In the XoSoft project, state-of-the-art advanced textiles and smart materials will be used to create sensing and variable-stiffness joints.

The design factors research group, based at UL’s school of design, is playing a major role in the development of a soft, modular, lower-limb exoskeleton.

Conceivably described as ‘smart clothing’, the €5.4m project (UL gets €550,000) incorporates robotics into trousers; supporting, strengthening and adding extra movement capabilities to the wearer.

This group is led by senior lecturer in design ergonomics at UL, Dr Leonard O’Sullivan, and head of UL’s school of design, Dr Adam de Eyto. O’Sullivan is sure that this project, the third such EU-funded programme UL is involved in at the moment, is perfectly suited to his team.

“As it’s our school of design that’s involved, we’re primarily working on the user-centred design of the variety of technologies,” said O’Sullivan, with his team already sorting through robotic options from partners and deciding which will work best in trial designs for patients.

Built-in sensors will communicate the user’s motion and intention to the controlling unit for analysis to determine and provide the appropriate level of assistance. Depending on the user’s need at a given moment, the device will provide support, release or freedom of movement.

“As this is for the elderly, largely, it has to be made with them in mind, so trialling options is very important,” he said, with five people at UL currently involved.

O’Sullivan said there are 3.2m wheelchair users in Europe and another 40m who cannot walk without an aid.

“People with limitation in independent movement of their legs can rely on a variety of assistive devices,” he said.

“Yet the available assistive aids are usually bulky, fairly inflexible and can therefore only partially support the process of movement. Neither do they encourage or support the activation of legs, which is essential to prevent further atrophy. This is where XoSoft comes in.”

The first prototype should roll out by spring 2019.


Career Articles

Recent Notices

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Postgraduate Open Evening 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Graduate Career Info Evening - Direct Entry Engineering 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Friday, April 26, 2019
Architecture Portfolio Deadline 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Friday, April 26, 2019
Product Design Portfolio Deadline 5:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Open Day 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Friday, October 18, 2019
Open Day 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
See all college events
Back to top