[Sam] submitted this fun project, a Punchout interface that you actually punch. If you recall, we’ve done a Punchout interface that you punch, but this one takes it a step further. Instead of being a blob on a desk that you’re mashing around, the new one is a Slam Man boxing dummy. They’ve mounted the buttons on different areas of the dummy so you can punch him to completely control the game. As you can see in the video, it seems to work ok, though we doubt the buttons will hold up very long under those conditions. They do say that this is just to hold them over till the Wii version, so maybe those buttons will last just long enough.
[eric], inspired by this Wired article, built his own haptic compass. Named “the clown belt”, it is a belt with 12 little vibrating motors mounted evenly all around. A digital compass vibrates whichever motor is closest to north at all times. This basically gives the owner an extra sense. He doesn’t go much into his own experiences, but the Wired article mentions “dreaming in north” and feeling strange once they finally removed it. Precise direction senses may not be super power worthy, but they would be cool.
We’ve been waiting for more information on the Nokia Haptikos, the haptic feedback touchscreen announced last October and largely forgotten until now. We knew that it would be a device that could raise sections
of its touchscreen to simulate the feel of buttons or keys, we just weren’t sure how Nokia would pull that off.
Now we have a better idea, as Nokia’s recent patent filing for the Haptikos gives away some juicy details.
The secret behind the device’s feedback is a “plurality of closely spaced voltage controllable protuberances,” or in other words, several small fluid filled compartments just under the screen’s surface. Under them are several piezoelectric members that can be controlled independently; when they extend upward, they apply pressure to the fluid compartments, raising the surface of the screen in that area.
Nokia has yet to work out all the kinks, but you can see the parts that do work by downloading the Haptikos patent application (PDF file).
Engadget recently posted a story about a flexible tactile display that can be wrapped around any part of the body and give haptic feedback to the user. The research team from Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University that developed the device are focusing on applications like Braille for the visually impaired or transmitting tactile data to a remote user, but this is just the beginning; the applications for wearable haptic feedback are wide open.
While we don’t see this coming to your local megaplex any time soon, we are starting to see the technology creep into our lives. After the break lets take a look at some examples, talk about projects we’ve covered before, and how you can get started developing your own.
[qDot]’s been spending alot of time with the Novint Falcon haptic controller. He’s put together a ‘brain dump’ of everything he know about the device – and some notes on his efforts to put together his own software library for the thing. I’m definitely interested in the parallel robotics platform that it appears to be based on.