Prototype Development of a Tactile Sensing System for Improved Worker Safety Perception

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering 2019

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The nature of construction activities limits the sensing capability of construction workers, which causes difficulty in perception of hazards threatening their lives. This difficulty is a continuous challenge for construction workers. In an attempt to overcome this challenge, this study proposes a tactile communication system as a means to deliver information about detected hazards to workers. The system is based on the sense of touch, which workers can perceive even when their senses of sight and hearing are impaired or limited. In the prototype system development, the researchers investigated three parameters of vibration signals: signal intensity, signal duration, and delay between signals, in order to categorize a set of distinct signals that would result in a minimum rate of signal misperception. This study implemented clustering analysis and categorized eight distinguishable signals. Such tactile signals, each with specific information, would enable workers to perceive surrounding information about hazards at construction sites, which otherwise would be difficult. This method demonstrates the potential of such a technique to seamlessly deliver hazard information to construction workers by enhancing their perception ability on a loud and dynamic construction site.


Construction industry; Occupational safety; Communication systems; Disasters and hazards; Labor; Construction methods


Architecture | Construction Engineering



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