MIT Engineers Create “Old Age Suit” – Video
AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System)
AGNES is a suit worn by students, product developers, designers, engineers, marketing, planners, architects, packaging engineers, and others to better understand the physical challenges associated with aging. Developed by AgeLab researchers and students, AGNES has been calibrated to approximate the motor, visual, flexibility, dexterity and strength of a person in their mid-70s. AGNES has been used in retail, public transportation, home, community, automobile, workplace and other environments.
A Closer Look
Knee and Elbow- Braces limit knee and elbow joint mobility, simulating joint stiffness, increased muscular fatigue, and slowed movements.
Arms- Bands that connect the arm and waist reduce joint mobility in the shoulders, making it harder to reach above shoulder height.
Legs- Straps attached to the harness and shoes decrease hamstring flexibility and shortens gait, promoting slower, shorter, leg movements while walking.
Spine- The helmet and band attachments simulate spinal compression and limit spinal rotation, giving the wearer a sense of curving of the spine that occurs with aging.
Neck- A neck brace reduces cervical spine rotation and extension, simulating increased stiffness and causing the turning of one’s head to be a full torso movement.
Eyes- Yellow glasses simulate the natural yellowing of eyes, making it difficult to see contrast and small print, as well as difficulty seeing in low light.
Ears- Earplugs simulate difficulty with high pitched sounds and soft tones.
Balance- Custom shoes simulate the changes in our musco-skeletal system and inner ear that occurs with age, causing imbalance and giving us a feeling of uncertainty with each step.
Hands- Gloves and braces simulate the reduced tactile sensation as well as decreased wrist strength and mobility.