@mdouglasbibbey's answer describes a situation where it was impossible to "hear" = feel important information while working on Hubble during an EVA, including haptic feedback when a quick disconnect fitting "clicks" when locked or unlocked, or as diagnostics to determine which of two pumps was running and which not.

It goes on to say:

Working with United Technologies Research Center, to solve this problem, we found a piezoelectic polymer film which could be inserted into the glove, and act as a contact microphone. This film, was then connected to a mini amplifier and speakers, which meant that the astronaut could 'hear' through their hands [gloves]....whatever they were touching, they could hear.

Has the ability to hear, feel, or otherwise sense information through augmentation of a space suit glove ever been used or at least tested in space? Are there at least any plans to do so at some point?

These are not directly related to space or to gloves, but highlight the concept of augmenting tactile feedback to gain more information:

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Not as far as I know, but hard to prove a negative. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 10 '20 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ Magnetic implants would not help with lightweight space materials like aluminum, titanium, composites, some stainless steels and other non ferromagnetic materials, $\endgroup$ – Uwe Sep 10 '20 at 8:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe if moved quickly, induced eddy currents in good conductors like copper and aluminum will produce quite a sizable force on a strong permanent magnet. You can even support a human with this effect, cf. kickstarter.com/projects/142464853/… and youtu.be/wCZiEtduSQg?t=29 But here I've cited magnets a simply one example of augmentation to convey the more general concept. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 10 '20 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe of course the motors in the hoverboard have to move very fast because they need to generate almost a thousand Newtons, whereas the magnets in fingers only need to be moved or vibrated by a micron or less to produce a tactile perception, since they are below the skin and soft tissue is compliant and filled with nerves. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 10 '20 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ The gap between the magnet and the conductor will reduce the eddy currents effect. The gap caused by the glove and the skin over the implant is not so small. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Sep 10 '20 at 8:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.