As technology continues to dictate where we are going in the future, it would appear scientist are starting the process of going to Mars. One can never be sure exactly what was learned from trips to the moon, but in at least one area, scientists and engineers are working on a solution for a little known problem encountered while walking on the moon, astronauts were falling down because they couldn’t see their feet.
That’s right. Astronauts were operating in space suits that didn’t allow them to have peripheral vision nor the ability to look straight down. As they walked over the moon’s surface, they were vulnerable to tripping over objects like rocks. This is going to blow Patrick Mahony’s mind. Scientists and engineers have developed a big-toe sensor that will help solve the aforementioned problem of seeing what”s around the feet.
The development of this sensor is in the hands of Alison Gibson of MIT, who appears to be working on just the right solution. At this point, here is a description of what she has come up with. She has developed built-in sensors in the big toe area of the Astronaut boot prototype. As the foot gets near an obstruction or object, the device will start vibrating. As the big toe gets closer to the object, the vibration will start getting stronger. But that’s not all.
She has also designed a series of glowing dots that stretch across the top of the boot. As the object gets nearer, the lights will gradually go opaque. This is intended to give the wearer a visual cue in the hopes that they can be able to use both the sensory cue and visual confirmation to avoid the object.
As fascinating as these types of development seems, science has made it clear that travel to Mars is still 10-15 year away. In the meantime, science has an opportunity to address significant problems like why did astronauts fall down on the moon?