Superhero science: UIC students build ‘SpiderSense’ suit

University of Illinois at Chicago computer science, communication, and bioengineering students say they have created a suit equipped with sensory receptors that enable a wearer to “feel” their environment, in a manner similar to Spider-Man’s “SpiderSense.” Assigned to develop something that could “see the invisible,” the students made a set of sensory modules worn on the body that can be arranged in various configurations. Using sonar technology, the suit hears pulse reflections with a microphone, determines the distance of the object from the user, and applies pressure to the wearer’s body as the object approaches. The suit is an example of human augmentics technology, which aims to improve a person’s quality of life by sensing or monitoring environmental characteristics that lie beyond human perception. The students intend to improve module reaction time to heighten recognition of rapidly moving objects and to enable users to move faster. The team hopes the technology can provide supplemental senses for visually impaired people.

More info: Medill Reports (03/13/13) Conner Forrest

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