Acquiring Dolphin Superpowers via IrukaTact Sonar Gloves

Acquiring Dolphin Superpowers via IrukaTact Sonar Gloves

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF TSUKUBA, JAPAN. A sonar glove called IrukaTact was developed to provide its wearers the special ability to sense and feel objects that are hidden underwater. This device is extremely useful when there is low visibility underwater.

Takeshi Ozu and Aisen Carolina Chacin are PhD candidates who designed the IrukaTact. The main inspiration was derived from the highly intelligent and friendly dolphin. In Japan, dolphins are called Iruka. This special glove has a built-in echolocation system that retrieves information on any hidden underwater object.

Information is relayed to the wearer of the glove via a haptic feedback system where pulsating jets of water are used to point the location of the object. The water jets become more profound, intense and pressure is applied to the fingertips of the wearer as the glove moves closer to the object.

The main goal of their design was to expand haptics since vibration alone is not enough for most people to sense the depth or feel the various textures of an object not being touched.

Three small motors are located on the index, middle and ring fingers of the IrukaTact glove to pump water onto the hand, creating the informative pressure. The thumb and pinky fingers are not covered to save battery power and improve the mobility. Attached to the middle finger is a silicon ring that is connected to a sensor on the wrist. This allows it to remain parallel to the hand and enables the glove to receive information from the direction in which the palm is facing.

The IrukaTact can be very useful in search and rescue missions. It can be used to identify hidden hazards like sinkholes. It can uncover sunken objects. Also, it can be incorporated in virtual reality games.

Invention Acquiring Dolphin Superpowers via IrukaTact Sonar Gloves
Organization University of Tsukaba
Researcher Takeshi Ozu, Aisen Carolina Chacin & Team
Field(s) Wearable Technology, Haptic Feedback, Virtual Reality, Haptics, Sonar
Further Information

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