29 Jun '14, 3pm

Tactile belts let soldiers feel their way through the field

Soldiers may develop a sixth sense for combat, but the Army’s not done working on the other five. Case in point: Research on a belt that incorporates “vibrotactile” technology — nodes that surround the wearer’s body, buzzing in response to a GPS marker, a squad leader making hand signals while wearing a tricked-out glove, even a robot. Feel a buzz on your stomach? Go straight. Tremor on your back? Turn around. A custom signal, like all the nodes firing at once? Maybe it’s time to get to the rally point. Or just get down. “Normally, we navigate visually,” said Bruce Mortimer, director of research and development at Engineering Acoustics Inc., one of the companies attached to the Army Research Laboratory’s Tactile Multisensory Navigation and Communication Systems program. “We have to look at a map or a GPS display, figure out our orientation, do the mapping and orientation c...

Full article: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140629/NEWS04/30629001...

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