Toward a Changeable Stiffness Suit and its Application for Haptic Games
We present the concept of Frozen Suit, a type of clothing that restricts users’ movements at joint positions (e.g. elbow, knee) via a changeable stiffness jamming material. The suit can “freeze” users’ body parts, for example during a game in order to provide the physical sensation of being frozen by an enemy. In this paper we first present the Frozen Suit concept and its potential applications. We then systematically investigate how to design jamming patches in order to sufficiently restrict an arm or a leg. In particular we used low-fidelity prototypes to explore the restricting power of different material and particles. In order to push this analysis further we conducted a controlled experiment in order to compare the perceived stiffness of different patches sizes attached to the elbow. We performed a paired comparison experience and used a Bradley-Terry-Luce model to analyze the subjective feedback from participants. We found that 20cm long x 7cm large is the most restrictive patch and that an increase in patch area correlates with an increase in perceived stiffness (quadratic). We finish by presenting a use case application with a game that we implemented where enemies can freeze the player.