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i.Dummy: The robot mannequin changes the face of garment industry

"i.Dummy can reflect the sizes of almost all races of people with amazing accuracy."

Imagine being able to buy a pair of jeans or one of the latest dresses at your favourite fashion shop, without ever leaving the comfort of your home. All you would have to do is pick out the style from an online catalogue, send in your measurements, then have your purchase delivered straight to your door. Best of all, it's a perfect fit.

This scenario isn't far off in the distant future, thanks to an ingenious device created by Dr Allan Chan, Associate Professor of the Institute of Textiles and Clothing and his team at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Dubbed the i.Dummy, this invention is an intelligent robotic female torso that can change at a moment's notice to adapt to almost any body type, of any size or ethnic background. It's also changing the face of the garment industry which until now has relied on traditional fixed-size mannequins.

"A single mannequin [the i.Dummy] fits all," Dr Chan said. "Workshops or shop-floors won't have to stock mannequins of different sizes, which often take up lots of valuable working space."

At the heart of the i.Dummy is a massive database of body sizes collected from American, European, Japanese and Chinese sources, developed by the research team composed of experts from anthropometry and mechatronics.

The implications for the garment and fashion industry are enormous. With its ability to assume any body shape in just eight seconds, i.Dummy will accelerate the process of garment design and development, allow garment factories to produce for multiple international buyers and overcome consumer reluctance to purchase clothing online.

Its ability to mimic different body profiles means the i.Dummy is also an excellent educational and training tool for fashion design students.

Recognition for Dr Chan's ingenious device has come from both his peers and industry. At the Design for Asia Awards 2014, his team won the Grand Award and the Category Award (Silver) against a field of over 1,000 entries from 23 countries and regions.

i.Dummy: The robot mannequin introduces a new face of garment industry

Imagine you are going to buy a pair of jeans or trendy clothes at your favourite fashion shop, but you do not need to leave the comfort of your home. All you would need to do is pick out the style you love from an online catalogue, submit your measurements, and then have your purchase delivered straight to your door. Best of all, it's a perfect fit. This scenario shall become reality in the near future, thanks to an ingenious device designed and created by Dr Allan Chan, Associate Professor of the Institute of Textiles and Clothing, as well as his team at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Called the i.Dummy, this invention is an intelligent robotic female torso. At a moment's notice, it can change to adapt to almost any body type, regardless any size or ethnic background. It is also bringing a new face to the garment industry which has been relying on traditional fixed-size mannequins. "A single mannequin [the i.Dummy] fits all," Dr Chan said. "Workshops or shop-floors won't have to stock mannequins of different sizes, which often take up lots of valuable working space." At the heart of the i.Dummy is a massive database of body sizes collected from the global world. The sources, developed by the research team composed of experts from anthropometry and mechatronics, cover data of American, Chinese, Japanese and European. The enormous implications for the garment and fashion industry can hardly be ignored. With its ability to assume any body shape in just eight seconds, i.Dummy can accelerate the process of garment design and development, allowing garment factories to produce for various international buyers and overcoming consumer reluctance to shop online for clothing. Its ability to mimic different body profiles also turns the i.Dummy into a valuable teaching and learning tool for fashion design students. Dr Chan's innovative device is widely recognized by both his peers and industry. At the Design for Asia Awards 2014, his team was able to clinch the Grand Award and the Category Award (Silver) against over 1,000 competitors from 23 countries and regions.