A project freely inspired by Marvel Superhero Spiderman
Victor Mateevitsi a computer-science graduate student at the University of Illinois in Chicago built a high-tech bodysuit named ”SpiderSense”. If Mateevitsi’s suit idoesn’t spray any web fluid from its wrists, it however, could give the visually impaired real-life “Spidey sense” that allows real spiders to detect potential threats or impediments. Exactly like the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man, this suit lets the wearer feel how close he is to a nearby object. It can even let him navigate with his eyes closed.
Picture: Lance Long
Small robotic arms, microphone-equipped modules and ultrasounds…
The project is freely inspired by Peter Parker, the comic-book character. His superpowers allow him to “feel a tingly sensation” to warn to an imminent threat. About technology, the ”SpiderSense” bodysuit features small robotic arms encased in seven microphone-equipped modules that send and receive ultrasonic reflections from close objects. Distributed across the suit, the modules give the wearer as near to 360 degree ultrasound coverage as possible and when the ultrasound detects someone (or something) moving closer, the arms respond by exerting a growing pressure on the part of the body closest to the danger. “When someone is punching Spider-Man, he feels the sensation and can avoid it” Mateevitsi says. “Our suit is the same concept.”
Mateevitsi and his team now plans to add more sensors to the suit to increase its resolution.
A technology that could be used to increase security, for cyclists as an example
Mateevitsi wants now to use his sensors technology in the real life, to increase cyclists’ awareness of other traffic on the road for example.
Mateevitsi’s study “Sensing the Environment through SpiderSense” has been accepted at the 4th Augmented Human International Conference in Stuttgart, Germany and will be presenting on Thursday March 7th.
“Recent scientific advances allow the use of technology to expand the number of forms of energy that can be perceived by humans. Smart sensors can detect hazards that human sensors are unable to perceive, for example radiation. This fusing of technology to human’s forms of perception enables exciting new ways of perceiving the world around us. In this paper we describe the design of SpiderSense, a wearable device that projects the wearer’s near environment on the skin and allows for directional awareness of objects around him. The millions of sensory receptors that cover the skin presents opportunities for conveying alerts and messages. We discuss the challenges and considerations of designing similar wearable devices”
You can find the program of the conference here.
This post is also available in: French