Real-life Spidey Sense suit tingles when objects get close

It won't help you sling webs or climb walls, but SpiderSense, the suit created by Victor Mateevitsi, a computer science PhD student at the University of Illinois in Chicago, will give you one of Peter Parker's powers. The suit uses a combination of robotic arms and ultrasonic technology to warn its wearer that someone—or something—is drawing near, giving you an approximation of those handy Spidey Senses.

New Scientist spoke to Mateevitsi about the suit, which contains tiny robotic arms sitting with microphones. The suit sends out ultrasonic signal, and the microphones pick up the reflections of the sound waves. When the reflected waves indicate that an object is too close, the robotic arms activate, pushing into the wearer's body.

Appropriately, Mateevitsi devised a mini-superhero test for his supersuit. He put students in the suit, blindfolded them, and handed them a stack of cardboard ninja throwing stars. When the student in the suit sensed someone coming at them, they were instructed to throw a star at the "attacker." Ninety percent of the time, the students were able to sense the "attacker" and throw the star at them.

Mateevitsi sees the suit as a possible safety solution for cyclers so they can better sense approaching traffic. But between this and the Air Force's vacuum-powered wall-crawling technology, we might be close to building our very own Spider-Man.

Spidey-sense suit tingles when someone gets too close [New Scientist via The Mary Sue]