SpiderSense consists of thirteen sensor modules placed on various parts of the body – arms, legs, chest, back, forehead, etc. – and connected to a controller box with 10-pin ribbon cables. Each module contains an ultrasonic distance sensor that detects objects up to about 17 feet (approx. 5 meters) and a rotary servomotor connected to a pressure arm.
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In the Spider-Man comics and movies, the famous hero's "Spider Sense" warns him of incoming danger, which proves to be just as important a superpower as slinging webs and climbing walls. Now a group of researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago may have found a way to replicate such superhuman perception that doesn't involve any radioactive spiders. Using a collection of sensors placed all over the body, the group has designed a "SpiderSense" suit that detects objects in the environment and warns the wearer when anything gets too close.
With a tongue-in-cheek name like "SpiderSense," the suit might conjure images of someone clad in spandex dodging attacks from a supervillain, but the designers have some applications in mind that are more grounded in reality. Aside from the clear advantage it could give to visually or hearing impaired users, the sensors could help in other situations that might need the extra spatial awareness (like firemen navigating smoke-filled rooms or cyclists riding on busy roads).
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