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Developing Vibrotactile Sensory Feedback for TetraSki Adaptive Sport Equipment

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Jeremi Godbout

The long-term goal of this research is to develop a wearable vibrotactile device to provide individuals with tetraplegia real-time haptic feedback from adaptive sports equipment. Tetraplegia affects 1.4 million Americans, and the number grows by thousands every year [1], [2]. Individuals with tetraplegia currently control adaptive sports equipment, such as an adaptive ski, with a ""sip-and-puff"" device; breathing into a tube (sipping) command the ski to move left and breathing out (puffing) commands the ski to move right. A key limitation of the ""sip-and-puff"" controller is that there is no immediate feedback to indicate if the command was registered. Here we present the design and development a wearable vibrotactile array. The vibrotactile array uses six vibrating motors integrated into a wearable fabric that fits around the neck of an individual. Each vibrating motor is a 10-mm-by-2.7-mm disc. The six vibrating motors are arranged with a vertical pair along the spine and two horizontal pairs to the right and left of the spine. The vibrating motors can be controlled wirelessly through a central embedded microcontroller. Tactile feedback can be convey based on which motors are vibrating, or by increasing the intensity of the vibration. Future work will validate this device while the participants are actively skiing with adaptive sports equipment. This wearable vibrotactile feedback could be broadened to other mobility devices such as wheelchairs. [1] ""Spinal Cord Injury Statistics - - Spine Rehab Stats,"" Brain and Spinal Cord. (accessed Oct. 07, 2022).
[2] ""Paralysis statistics,"" Reeve Foundation. (accessed Sep. 13, 2022).
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #D84
SESSION D (3:30-5:00PM)
Area of Research: Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Monika Buczak