model in grey socks with foot sensors

Wearable Technology Studio – Psychophysical Perception

This studio introduces students to a research-based design approach where teams work with interdisciplinary project mentors from non-design backgrounds ranging from aerospace and mechanical engineering to health and medical professionals. Students will be introduced to soft materials, smart textiles, and other technological advances in sensors and microcontrollers.


This project Psychophysical Perception of Body-Suit Interactions by students Eugene Brukhman, Woody Wei, Alejandro Espina, used a sensory garment they designed to better understand the relationship between perceived and actual discomfort for astronauts.

What we did

  • Literature review
  • Design research
  • Problem definition and project proposal
  • Design, prototyping and testing
  • Create a final working prototype
  • Present project at annual WT symposium

Clients / Collaborators

feet in socks with hands holding calves
model in open moon boots

Project Overview

The objective of the project was to create a garment and accompanying system that is able to measure pressure points where injuries are prone to happen due to wearing the spacesuit. The sensor system is designed to measure precisely the location and pressure of the human suit contact to effectively locate and prevent injuries, discomfort, and fatigue caused by the spacesuits.

foot sensor diagram with wire map
foot diagram and perception sensor data graph

Design Process

After performing chronic pain assessments, the garment was designed for the dorsum of the foot. The concept exploration included testing different formats of conductive fabrics, threads, and layers of pressured sensitive films that would work best for the user. Programmed with Arduino, the sock designed was tested on participants with 6 tasks in total, ranging from standing to squatting. The data was then collected and charted for further analysis, indicating the success of the project.

Model walks on rocks with moon boots
designer connecting boots with wires
small wires connected to cardboard and fabric
two men showing usage and feedback of sensory boots

Student Designers

Eugene Brukhman
Woody Wei
Alejandro Espina