Investigation of Tactile Sensory System Configuration for Construction Hazard Perception
The application of tactile-based wearable devices to assist in navigation for people with low sight/low memory has demonstrated the feasibility of using such devices as a means of communication. Accordingly, a previous study in construction research investigated various parameters of tactile signals to develop a communicable system for potential application in construction hazard communication. However, the nature of construction limits the application of such devices to the body of construction workers, and it is important to understand sensor design parameters for improved communication, which has not been given significant attention yet. Therefore, this study aims to determine key design factors such as the number of motors, spacing between sensors and the layout of a tactile sensory system to be used for communicating construction hazards to workers. For this purpose, this study focused on identifying the number of motors based on extensive literature and the problem of construction safety as to hazard communication, determining the arrangement that allowed for effective delivery and perception of information with minimum effort. The researchers conducted two experimental studies: First, to determine the minimum spacing between vibration motors that allows for the identification of each individual motor with high accuracy; and second, to determine the layout of motors that is suitable for effective communication of multiple types of information. More importantly, the tactile-sensor configuration identified from this study allows the workers to learn the signal patterns easily in order to identify multiple types of information related to hazards. Using such a communication system on construction sites will assist in transmitting hazard-related information to workers, and thus, protect the lives of workers. Such wearable technologies enable the detection of individual-level hazards and prevent worker fatalities and severe injuries.