Interactive designer
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 S.C.O.U.T

 Academic

Academic

 

System for Communication and Orientation on Undefined Terrains

In the future, astronauts will explore other planetary surfaces like Mars on foot and on rovers. In the case of surface extravehicular activities (EVAs), astronauts will traverse unknown and previously unexplored terrain. This project tries to answer the following question: 

How can we help astronauts explore Mars’ terrain safely and intuitively? 

 
 
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The SCOUT system is the result of a collaboration of 5 students from different majors (2 industrial design, 2 electrical engineering and an architecture student).I worked closely with the electrical engineering students to gain knowledge in using Arduino and learning in detail about circuits, sensors and micro-controllers.

 
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Design Process

 
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The SCOUT system consists of three main components namely the drone, the feedback units and the user interface. This guide is targeted to walk you through how to use the two feedback units which are the Comet and the Vibrobelt.

 
 
 
 

Drone: Flies ahead of the astronaut to establish a way point, guiding her to a science site.

Feedback Units: Lights on the helmet and vibration on the belt let the astronaut know which direction to head.

User Interface: Messages appear on the helmet when necessary, e.g. emergency notifications from the IV crew. 

 
 

A demonstration on how the feedback units responds to the drones guiding coordinates.

S.C.O.U.T system in way finding scenario explained

 
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 Prototyping

 

1. COMET  (Compass Helmet)

The function of the compass helmet is to guide and navigate an astronaut in the direction of the waypoints which will help him reach the final destination. The helmet will have a light which will be in the center if the astronaut is moving in the right direction. If the astronaut moves his head in the wrong direction, the light will change to point in the direction of the destination which can be either on the left or right.

 
 
 
 

2. VIBROBELT (Vibration Belt)

The vibration belt’s function is pretty similar to the Comet but instead of using visual feedback signals, it provides the user with tactile (vibration based) feedback regarding the direction in which the user needs to proceed. It was designed to use as an extra layer of pathfinding mechanism and can be very useful when the visual ability is affected or there are cognitive limitations.

 
 
 
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