Concerns regarding suspension trauma and a zero-g simulator??

It has been asked of me to investigate the possibility of using an Arduino based cable suspension system that will connect to a "parachute like suspension harness" resposible for holding an engineer so as to remain in a position to simulate weightlessness (despite constrains of being in an earth-bound system with actual gravity and all..).

So this would be an experiment to see if it were even possible to simulate a sensation of weightlessness.

My question is would this even be feasible to consider? As I have seen gymnasts use similar suspension systems where it is gimbaled at the hip, and they use it for extended periods of time, which would make it appear to not be as dangerous as the Wikipedia article suggests (given you remain physically active - mainly in the legs).

Onset of symptoms may be after just a few minutes, but usually occurs after at least 20 minutes of free hanging. Typical symptoms are pallor, sweating, shortness of breath, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, hypotension and numbness of the legs. Eventually it leads to fainting, which may result in death due to oxygen deprivation of the brain.

But this project must be considered safe for lone operation. A quick/emergency release system will be added but I am currently looking for a proper suspension harness for extended use.

Ultimately this will be used to simulate the traversal throug environments free from gravitation, or EVA type maneuvers. The simulations already feel too unrealistic when standing or sitting. So a better solution must be found.

Thank you for any input.

You're talking about whether something like that is safe for a human being? I think you should probably consider going to a little more reliable source than a hobbyist forum. Good on you for asking, but you need to think a little harder about who to ask. We're good at writing code and making the Arduino do things. But this isn't a place where people are real experts on the human body or health. The fact that you're asking this here makes me think maybe this is something you don't normally do and that makes me worry a bit for the safety of the folks in your harness.

an Arduino based cable suspension system

What does the Arduino have to do with this?

Pete

Delta_G:
I think you should probably consider going to a little more reliable source than a hobbyist forum.

+1

However I would change "probably" to "definitely".

I suggest you get professional advice from a medical doctor who is an expert in sports medicine - even if you have to pay for the advice.

...R

I've been in a harness (maybe for 15 minutes) and there is no sensation of weightlessness and I was perfectly comfortable. It's not much different from sitting in a chair, except you're off the ground. I could probably do it "all day" as long as I could get a bathroom break. Some people (most people?) have a fear of heights. I do not.

If you're rotating (or being rotated) on some kind of gymnastic harness, of course you could get disoriented or dizzy.

if it were even possible to simulate a sensation of weightlessness.

Yes, it certainly is.

Astronaut training is done in airplanes, on a ballistic trajectory.

DVDdoug:
I've been in a harness (maybe for 15 minutes) and there is no sensation of weightlessness and I was perfectly comfortable. It's not much different from sitting in a chair, except you're off the ground. I could probably do it "all day" as long as I could get a bathroom break. Some people (most people?) have a fear of heights. I do not.

If you're rotating (or being rotated) on some kind of gymnastic harness, of course you could get disoriented or dizzy.

Do you feel comfortable being responsible for the health of others who are going to go into some device you haven't seen based on this advice based on a single anectdote? I still think that the OP needs to get with someone who actually knows what they're doing and doesn't rely on completely unrelated internet forums for research.

I think the OP is designing a new Bungee-jumping system. I wonder if he has tried some of the new roller coaster type rides?

Paul

Delta_G:
Do you feel comfortable being responsible for the health of others who are going to go into some device you haven't seen based on this advice based on a single anectdote?

No, not from a single anectdote, but every datapoint helps determine a course of action.

Also with a quick release system and the user being suspended only a few inches over a padded floor it should not pose immediate life threatening risk. However I am still very unclear regarding frequent use and long term effects.

Robin2:
I suggest you get professional advice from a medical doctor who is an expert in sports medicine - even if you have to pay for the advice.

This was very insightful, I will do just this regarding long term use of the system. Thanks!

Delta_G:
I still think that the OP needs to get with someone who actually knows what they're doing and doesn't rely on completely unrelated internet forums for research.

Completely unrelated???
Who other than roboticists and hobbyists (that I could ask) would have any opinion on constructing a zero-g simulator?

Though I will admit that the harness idea does seem a little outlandish, but it is a requirement to have free floating limbs in this exercise. We have also considered a human sling, or just laying belly down on a bench. None of which are as flexible/maneuverable as a harness + cable positioning system.

DVDdoug:
I've been in a harness (maybe for 15 minutes) and there is no sensation of weightlessness and I was perfectly comfortable.

Hey thanks for that input. For added realism I must remove the element of feeling planted or stationary so to produce the effect of free floating limbs while using VR of course. So more accurately it would only be a simulated sensation of weightlessness. Do you believe it could be achieved given you were seeing simulated visuals?

megaBlocks:
Completely unrelated???
Who other than roboticists and hobbyists (that I could ask) would have any opinion on constructing a zero-g simulator?

If the question was how can I measure the G-forces, then you're in the right place. If the question is how can I control a servo attached to the harness then you're in the right place. If your question related to a robot that would be hanging in said harness then you're in the right place.

But you're asking about the effects on the human body, not some robotics or electronics or programming topic. You are seeking the wrong expertise. We're coders, not doctors.

The fact that you think this is an appropriate place to ask about the health effects tells me that you got no clue. Please, for the safety of others involved, consult with someone who knows what they're talking about.

roboticists

To ask about the human body??? I would think someone who knows about human bodies, and not robot bodies would make a lot more sense.

hobbyists

Hobbyists? You know what that word means right? If someone's health and well-being is involved then I think you should probably ask a professional. Get with someone who has the training, not someone who has tinkered around with things.

Delta_G:
The fact that you think this is an appropriate place to ask about the health effects tells me that you got no clue. Please, for the safety of others involved, consult with someone who knows what they're talking about.

I understand completely, and even though the: "you got no clue" part is a bit noisy Ill accept it for what it is.

Delta_G:
If the question was how can I measure the G-forces, then you're in the right place. If the question is how can I control a servo attached to the harness then you're in the right place. If your question related to a robot that would be hanging in said harness then you're in the right place.

I came to the "Project Guidance" for Advice on general approaches or feasibility.
Sorry the title was safety orientated, but really I am just looking for any approach to produce a zero-g-like experience, and anyone willing to comment or pose a better or alternative solution would be greatly appreciated.

You still haven't explained what "Arduino based cable suspension system" means (*). What does Arduino have to do with this at all?

I came to the "Project Guidance" for Advice ...

This Project Guidance forum isn't for any project. It's for Arduino projects.

Pete

(*) Seems to me you might as well have posted a message in a cooking forum asking about a "Chicken based cable suspension system"

el_supremo:
(*) Seems to me you might as well have posted a message in a cooking forum asking about a "Chicken based cable suspension system"

Lol. The picture in my head right now is priceless. I wish I was an artist so I could share.

Maybe when he needs help with motors and servos he will post on WebMD.