A 'female' dummy with flesh-like 'skin' and muscle that mimics a woman's figure is being built by Polytechnic University researchers to help design more comfortable and stylish underwear. It will be a companion to the university's world-famous 'Walter', a mannequin with a waterproof fabric 'skin' that oozes moisture through tiny holes to simulate human perspiration under different clothing material. Only the lower-half torso and the thighs of the female dummy have been built so far but, when finished, it will be a complete torso with four limbs, made of silicon and polymer materials that simulate a woman's muscles and skin. Sensors have been attached to monitor the pressure of undergarments on the dummy. 'We are trying to make the silicons look like real human skin, fat and muscles so different underwear designs and fabrics can be worn on the dummy to test how they would appear on a human,' said Winnie Yu Wing-man, an assistant professor at the university's institute of textiles and clothing. Dr Yu's co-researcher Fan Jintu had earlier built Walter, the sweating male dummy with temperature and humidity sensors to control and measure heat loss and vaporisation under different fabrics. Walter was built for designers and clothing companies to test the comfort and safety of clothes worn by professionals working in extreme conditions, such as soldiers, firefighters and athletes. Walter hit international headlines when newspapers worldwide featured the story last year. 'Unlike Walter, which is used to test external clothing and sweating, the new mannequin will be used especially to test female underwear and how different underwear would look on a human body from a more aesthetic point of view,' said Dr Yu. She has yet to name it because that would require approval by the funding bodies. The two university researchers, who have just started on the new dummy, have more than two years of funding from the government and nine clothing companies.