Stress levels of astronauts eased by Polish device

A device for monitoring levels of emotional states, like fear, relaxation or stress has been devised by Polish companies for the European Space Agency (ESA).

The device, which has an accuracy level of 99 percent, was originally created for use by astronauts yet may also be of benefit to other sectors, for example, the uniformed services or in the sports world.

The Adiutis mobile-system, consisting of the device itself, programmes and algorithms, was designed and produced for ESA under the Polish Industry Incentive Scheme programme. The main contractor for the project is Sybilla Technologies, a company based in the northern Polish city of Bydgoszcz. The company worked in close collaboration with the STAR-PROJEKT electronics company and Pracownia Usług Psychologicznych (Psychological Laboratory Services).

"The technology devised by us can be used in a variety of situations, such as in the training and monitoring of astronauts, the uniformed services, athletes and any individuals who depend on a greater awareness of their emotional and psychophysiological state," said Zdzisław Sybilski, the owner of Psychological Laboratory Services.

Adiutis works by monitoring changes in heart rhythms and dermal plating reactions (skin reactions activated by changes to the sweat glands, due to experienced emotions or stimuli). Currently, the device can monitor neutral states, fear and disgust.

"We chose fear and disgust, as we were aware that they are problematic emotional states in terms of psychophysiological reactions. We wanted to throw Adiutis right into the deep-end. In the next tests we will focus on the following or monitoring of the following states: excitement, amusement and neutrality," Agnieszka Sybilska of Sybilla Technologies told PAP.

STAR-PROJEKT President Lech Starczak, in the company's press release, stated that the device itself is light, ergonomic in everyday use, and due to its low power usage, via stable, cordless transmission, allows for lengthy periods of mobile use. "The parameters which we have achieved, were previously only available in stationary devices," he added.