Two Japanese PhD candidates, Aisen Carolina Chacin and Takeshi Ozu, from the Tsukuba University have recently developed a 3D-printed sonar glove that can detect underwater items. The haptic sonar glove aka IrukaTact is specifically designed to search for debris and objects in floodwaters. "Iruka" means dolphin in Japanese and Tact is short for tactile.
According to Popular Science, IrukaTact uses echolocation to detect objects in water and provides haptic feedback to its wearer with pulsing jets of water. The water jet system includes a MaxBotix MB7066 sonar sensor and an Arduino Pro Mini to create tactile pressure feedback underwater.
Depending on the distance of the sunken object from the wearer's hand, the jets apply pressure on the fingertips. As the object gets closer to the device, more pressure will be felt on the fingers and vice-versa. The sensors attached to the device can detect sunken objects that are up to two feet away, and can prove handy in exploring objects and obstacles in murky water.
The project designers in association with Ars Electronica have shared the 3D-printing instructions for making the glove a DIY kit to help emergency response groups search for victims in floodwaters, sunken objects, or hazards like sinkholes.