New Technology Communicates Through Touch for Emergency Situations

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In a new study by researchers from the Rice University’s Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Laboratory, recent findings deal with communications made through touch and feel. These are expected to be highly beneficial especially in emergency situations.

More Insights into the Study Undertaken by Rice University

According to the researchers, they found that less than two hours of training was required to feel most words that were transmitted by haptic armbands. These armbands communicated through signals that comprised of squeezing, stretching, and vibrations. The technology being developed is expected to guide a person through the sense of touch. It could also utilize other devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, and other wearables to carry out the above-mentioned actions.

The technology is being developed by Marcia O’ Malley, who is a mechanical engineer at the laboratory in the Rice University. O’ Malley has spent more than 15 years studying how people can use haptic senses to interact with technologies, such as prosthetic limbs, robots, and stroke-rehabilitation software. O’ Malley further says that our whole body is covered with numerous receptors on it. And the presence of these receptors can be seen as an alternative channel of information. O’ Malley is the director of the Rice Robotics Initiative and Rice’s Mechatronic and Haptic Interface Laboratory (MAHI).

There are several emergency situations such as fire, floods, and even medical scenarios wherein this technology can be used to its maximum extent. For instance, a doctor or a surgeon can surely be guided by using the vibrations and other haptic feedback while carrying out complex operations.

New funding from the National Science Foundation, has made it possible to come up with new forms of communication. This funding is expected to make the team of researchers soon begin designing and testing soft, wearable devices that allow direct touch-based communications from nearby robots

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