MIT's Agnes Suit, An Instrumented Aware Car and the Miss Daisy Driving Simulator
— MIT AgeLab's Age Gain Now Empathy System
This suit was designed to provide insight into the physical effects of aging. The various components simulate the changes that occur naturally as we age. Put on this suit and you feel increased fatigue, reduced flexibility in joints and muscles, spinal compression, and difficulty with vision and balance.
Altogether, AGNES is more than just a suit. It is a method developed and constructed by exercise physiologists, engineers, and designers. We need to fully understand the needs of an aging population to design a future that is accessible and engaging for people of every age. AGNES is better way to see how a product, service, or environment is used and navigated by an older adult because it allows us to experience it for ourselves. AGNES is one tool that MIT uses at the AgeLab to study and improve life tomorrow. To learn more visit: agelab.mit.edu
The “AwareCar” is an instrumented vehicle built for evaluating new models and methods of monitoring driver state though physiology, visual attention, and driving performance in the field. The vehicle includes sensors to record data about the current state of the operating environment.
These tools can be used to trigger driver feedback systems that are under development. Sensing systems currently implemented include: six video cameras for environment and operator monitoring, measures of vehicle telemetry (velocity, wheel rates, lane position, radar), driver physiology (heart rate, skin conductance, respiration rate) and eye tracking.
The vehicle has been used in a variety of studies to assess: hands free cellular phone usage, driver health and wellness as well as functional methods of assessing changes in workload, arousal and stress with age.
Miss Daisy (Fixed-base Vehicle Simulator)
“Miss Daisy” is a driving simulator used for the evaluation of in-vehicle technology, cognitive distraction and disease and medication effects.
The simulator is constructed with the full cab of a 2001 Volkswagen Beetle and an 8’ projection screen functions using STISIM Drive for graphics display and model development. Sensors connected to the original equipment manufacturer accelerator, brake and steering wheel provide input to the simulation system. Feedback to the driver is provided through visual, auditory and motion channels. Programmed simulations include highway, rural, urban and desert driving. Studies have shown that behavior patterns measured in the driving simulator correspond with driving in real world situations.
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