Haptic feedback joystick uses air muscles

[Ben Krasnow] is working on a force-feedback joystick. It centers around the concept of an air muscle which transfers pressure into linear motion. He cites another air muscle project as part of the inspiration in his build, but where he’s gone with it is one of the better uses for these blow-up components that we’ve seen.

Basically you have a bladder, in this case rubber tubing. A mesh surrounds it to reinforce the material and cause inflation to shorten the length of the package. In the image above there are four black air muscles that connect the base of a joystick with the outer frame that houses it. How and when each muscle is pressurized determines the type of motion the user will feel on the joystick. This is where his pressure controller comes into play. It uses a voltage-to-pressure transducer to feed a manifold, the combination of which not only makes each muscle addressable but allows him to dial in the force sent to the muscles. Check out the video after the break for his start-to-finish walk through.

Comments

  1. Whatnot says:

    Unfortunately less and less games support forcefeedback, the real thing that is and not the rumble kind.
    But I don’t know what is plan is though, maybe it’s not even for games at all.

  2. r_d says:

    I would like to know if he is planning to make this a proper HID device that conforms to PID. If so, how?
    I’ve made a few USB HID peripherals and one non-USB device with force feedback through serial communication and a framework I built on top of Linux’s uinput. However, making a true plug-and-play PID device seems like a herculean task and has eluded me. If he pulls it off it could be a great place for me to start.

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