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February 20, 2017 AT 10:10 am

Adafruit Tech Embedded in Prototype Mars Astronaut Boot (Is Adafruit Going to Mars?!)

Stumbled upon this short video (below) in Wired’s Twitter feed that shows a prototype boot that is both 3D-printed (obviously for quickly prototyping boot-like framing) and includes an embedded proximity sensor. And the sensor shown? Our own VCNL4010! How cool is that?!

The need stems from alerting or warning astronauts to proximity values near their feet – like rocks or obstacles – and providing feedback through vibration or other sensory indication, since the astronaut will likely be unable to look down to see directly.

And astronauts are known to trip:

But on Mars, unlike the moon, there is no soft surface to catch an astronaut’s fall. So researchers at MIT are prototyping solutions to foreshadowed problems. Oh and they’re also using an Intel Edison among other boards and devices in this particular unit:

Watch:


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