Haptic Smart Knob Does Several Jobs

A knob is a knob, a switch is a switch, and that’s that, right? And what about those knobs that have detents, set in stone at the time of manufacturing? Oh, and those knobs that let you jog left to right and then snap back to center — that can’t be modified…right? Well, you likely know where this is going, and in the video below the break, [scottbez1] shows off a new open source haptic input knob that can be all of these things with just some configuration changes!

The list of possibilities is long: virtual snap points, virtual spring loading, virtual detents, virtual end points. It’s a virtual smörgåsbord of configuration options that make this haptic smart knob a one stop shop for all of your knob needs. This is all possible because the knob contains a high resolution magnetic encoder chip that has a single degree resolution. The sensor is coupled, through software, to a brushless DC motor. The round LCD gives visual feedback as well.

As [Myself] on the Hackaday Discord channel noted, having configurable spacing and strength for detents, springs, and stops, is nothing short of incredible. Being able to reconfigure the knob at-will means that it can become context sensitive. It’s wonderfully unique and it’s open source, so you can make your own with the information available at GitHub.

And according to its creator, the only thing the Haptic Smart Knob can’t do is do your taxes or blend your margarita. Well, it’s open source, so perhaps some of our more enterprising readers can submit just the right pull request.

This isn’t Hackaday’s first Motorized Volume Knob feature, but it might be one of the neatest we have seen so far. Thanks to [mattvenn] on the Hackaday Discord server for the great tip!

Continue reading “Haptic Smart Knob Does Several Jobs”

Classical VCR Head Jog Wheel

[Osgeld] takes on the classic VCR head jog wheel in this instructable. He has done a fantastic job not only in his build quality, but in the quality of the writeup. As he points out, the idea of using the head as a jog wheel isn’t new. His construction and build quality however have yielded a fantastic looking reliable device that we would be proud to have sitting on our desk.

As usual, the most interesting bits of the writeup are how he solved problems he encountered. For example, he’s using an optical mouse to detect the motion of the wheel. This requires that he print out a pattern to mount opposite the optical sensor. This sounds straight forward enough, but he found the results to be less than stellar. He documented his fix, basically reworking it in GIMP, so others can save some time. That is how tutorials should be. Great job [Osgeld].

Orbita Mouse

The Orbita mouse seems to be finally coming to production. After watching that video, it seems that the mouse could be quite nice actually. We’ve seen several people build jog wheels for their computer and others try to make scrolling more ergonomic, and this product seems to add both decently.  Well, it could probably be more ergonomic, but it is a start. At less than $100 it isn’t cost prohibitive either. The question is, have any of you built an alternative? Using a puck shaped device seems like it could get bothersome on the hand, how would you improve the design?

[via Engadget]