Victor Mateevitsi, PhD candidate in UIC’s Department of
Computer Science and a research assistant in UIC’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), has created “SpiderSense,” a prototype wearable suit that enables users to sense (without seeing) obstacles around them.
Like the comic book character Spider-Man, whose skin tingles at approaching danger, SpiderSense augments human ability–it can potentially help a pedestrian “see” hidden dangers, assist a fireman entering smoke-filled buildings, or help a visually impaired person navigate his environment. SpiderSense consists of sensor modules strategically placed on the wearer’s body. Using ultrasound to scan the environment for obstacles within 60 feet, it then translates the waves into tactile signals that stimulate the wearer’s skin.
SpiderSense (previously called NinjaVision) is an outgrowth of the UIC Human Augmentics coursedeveloped by professors Jason Leigh and Robert Kenyon. Human Augmentics refers to a new interdisciplinary field of study aimed at developing technologies to expand human capabilities and characteristics.
Mateevitsi authored “Sensing the environment through SpiderSense” with Brad Haggadone (UIC Communications Department), Jason Leigh and Robert Kenyon (UIC Computer Science, Electronic Visualization Laboratory), and Brian Kunzer (UIC Bioengineering, Neural Engineering Vision Laboratory), and will present it March 7 at Augmented Human ’13: the 4th Augmented Human International Conference, in Stuttgart, Germany. The paper is available online.