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The two goals of AuxeticBreath are to: [1] Effectively combine 3D-printed auxetic structures and soft robotics for expressive new uses, and [2] to observe the interaction of audiences with this collective representation of their breaths, as well as their changing perceptions of respiration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each ovule-shaped unit moves at its own rhythmic respiratory rate of normal breathing, known as eupnea, at a rate of about 12 breaths per minute on average. As the audience approaches the installation, air pumps inflate elastomers at varying speeds and rhythms, shifting from the rhythm of eupnea to the rhythm of dyspnea, or shortness of breath. The transition to dyspnea-like rhythms is characterised by a decrease in tidal volume and an increase in respiratory rate, resulting in a sensation of breathlessness and a respiratory rate over 18.1 rpm. After a prolonged presence in front of the installation, the simulated breath returns to its original interval rhythm. The decision to use soft material was made with the goal of emulating cycles of breath, making them tangible, and emphasising inflation through auxetic patterns. The challenge of soft robotics is to develop professional pneumatic devices that exert ideal amounts of air pressure to initiate the desired movements without bursting the silicone and creating undesired holes. Another significant challenge is maintaining the shape of the elastomer and controlling the direction of expansion. Auxetic materials allow for more stable shapes, variations in tension/resilience, and flexible movements to prevent bursting from over-inflation. Red Dot Award: Design Concept | Concept | 3D Printed

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