Tactile Displays: From the Cockpit to the Clinic

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Braden McGrathaAngus Rupertb

Abstract: There is a great deal in common between a pilot maintaining controlled flight in aviation and a person maintaining balance while standing upright. Both activities require sufficient and accurate sensory information provided in a format permitting the central nervous system to respond quickly with appropriate corrective motor actions to prevent a fall or a mishap. Loss of control in either environment is a frequent occurrence when sensory information is compromised such as in degraded visual environments (DVE), or when a patient experiences loss of sensation. We developed an alternative sensory cueing device using the sense of touch, which can prevent loss of control in both the aviation and terrestrial environments. A single belt with tactile transducers provides touch cues concerning direction, velocity, and extent of movement. This continuous, intuitive, orientation information to pilots and patients reduces the likelihood of a loss of aircraft control or a fall. The algorithms providing tactile cues are similar for a pilot hovering a helicopter in DVE and a sensory-compromised patient performing balance tasks. The rapidity of learning correct responses to tactile cues reflects the intuitive nature of tactile cueing.

Keywords: Tactile Cueing, Balance, Falls, Spatial Disorientation, Situation Awareness, Degraded Visual Environment, Workload, Intuitive, Vestibular, Prosthesis

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe100210

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