Monday, February 25, 2013

Scientists create SpideySense suit that can ‘detect danger like Spider-Man’

Spider-Man fans could finally find out what it feels like to be their favorite superhero after scientists created a SpideySense suit that gives the wearer a tingling sensation to alert them to danger.

Created by Victor Mateevitsi of the University of Illinois, Chicago, and colleagues, the suit uses small robotic arms with microphones that pick up ultrasonic reflections from objects.

The arms press down on the wearer’s body, increasing the pressure as the object moves closer.

The suit has seven modules, giving almost 360-degree coverage.

Mr Mateevitsi said: ‘When someone is punching Spider-Man, he feels the sensation and can avoid it. Our suit is the same concept.’

The effectiveness of the suit was put to a test when students were blindfolded and armed with cardboard ninja stars to throw at anyone they could sense approaching them.

‘Ninety five per cent of the time they were able to sense someone approaching and throw the star at them,’ Mr Mateevitsi told New Scientist.

He is now preparing to showcase the invention at the fourth Augmented Human International Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, on March 7.

Its creators hope it can help increase cyclists’ awareness of other traffic on the road and ultimately blind people.

The team also plans to add more sensors to the outfit.


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