We've made a lot of progress in the last few months, starting with setting up a workspace for research, development, and testing. We've moved into the new space, where we have a lot of resources we didn't have before.
The first few prototypes were put together by modifying existing sex toys. This crude approach was good enough to show us that the basic technology is sound, but the prototypes we built this way were limited, fragile, and rather uncomfortable to wear.
Since then, we've acquired a 3D printer and facilities for making ceramic molds to cast silicone. This allows us to create custom-designed silicone with electronics, sensors, and electrodes cast right in.
From 3D rendering to printed positive that we use to make a mold.
And yes, those are Lego bricks we're using as a mold box!
We've 3D printed and made silicone test casts of the insertable part of the device. Here's a test cast of the insertable with electrodes directly embedded in the cast, a huge improvement over our first few prototypes:
Right now, we're moving into a development phase aimed at answering questions like:
- How many sensors and electrodes do we need?
- What's the neural density of the inside wall of the vagina?
- How much variability is there in sensitivity between different people, and between different parts of the inner anatomy of the same person?
- What's the best way to modulate the signal in response to pressure on the sensors?
- What's the maximum perceptual spatial resolution of the inner anatomy?
The first-generation prototype had three sensors and three electrodes, and the insertable part was rigid plastic, which as you can imagine was not terribly comfortable and certainly not workable for long-term use. The prototype we're working on now is an enormous improvement: fifteen sensors and fifteen electrodes, embedded in custom silicone that's far more comfortable.
We're excited with the progress that we've made, and looking forward to what we can learn in 2017.
Want to keep up with developments? Here's a handy list of blog posts about it: