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AFRL, NextFlex leverage open-source community : Lightweight, low-cost and flexible electronic systems are the key to next-generation smart technologies for military as well as consumer and commercial applications.

An Air Force Research Laboratory-led project in conjunction with NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Institute, has resulted in the first ever, functional samples of flexible Arduino circuit board systems made by using a flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing process, setting the stage for smart technologies for the internet of things and sensor applications like wearable devices.

“The possibilities for FHE (flexible hybrid electronics) technology are virtually limitless,” said Dr. Benjamin Leever, AFRL Advanced Development Team leader and NextFlex government chief technology officer. “Proving the manufacturability of this technology through an open-source platform will expand FHE’s reach even further by providing everyone from industrial product developers, to high school students, the opportunity to innovate on new electronics concepts.”

Arduinos are microcontrollers, or integrated circuits, that are programmable through open-source software. Whereas commercial electronics typically include proprietary microcontrollers, Arduinos can be used by anyone to quickly prototype an electronic device.

The form factor of electronic devices is often limited by traditional microcontrollers, which are fragile and rigid in design, complicating their integration with newer devices that may be flexible or curved in design, such as a smartwatch, or located in a difficult-to-access place, like a fuel tank sensor. The flexible Arduino can enable rapid innovation in flexible and wearable devices for applications including monitoring hydration status, glucose levels, heartrate and more. Read more

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AFRL, NextFlex leverage open-source community : Lightweight, low-cost and flexible electronic systems are the key to next-generation smart technologies for military as well as consumer and commercial applications.

  
An Air Force Research Laboratory-led project in conjunction with NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Institute, has resulted in the first ever, functional samples of flexible Arduino circuit board systems made by using a flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing process, setting the stage for smart technologies for the internet of things and sensor applications like wearable devices.