Chess is undoubtedly a game of the mind. Sadly, some of the nuances are lost when you play on a computer screen. When a game is tactile, it carries a different gravity. Look at a poker player shuffling chips, and you’ll see that when a physical object is on the line, you play for keeps. [Matou], who is no stranger to 3D printing, wanted that tactility, but he didn’t stop at 3D printed pieces. He made parts to transform his Creality Ender 3 Pro into a chess-playing robot.
To convert his printer, [Matou] designed a kit that fits over the print head to turn a hotend into a cool gripper. The extruder motor now pulls a string to close the claw, which is a darn clever way to repurpose the mechanism. A webcam watches the action, while machine vision determines what the player is doing, then queries a chess AI, and sends the next move to OctoPrint on a connected RasPi. If two people had similar setups, it should be no trouble to play tactile chess from opposite ends of the globe.
Physical chess pieces and computers have mixed for a while and probably claimed equal time for design and gameplay. There are a couple of approaches to automating movement from lifting like [Matou], or you can keep them in contact with the board and move them from below.
Continue reading “Print Chess Pieces, Then Defeat The Chess-Playing Printer”
BioTac Artificial Skin Technology is sure to be a storm with Robotics Designers. Giving them the opportunity to add a third sense to there robotic marvels. Now they can have the sense of touch to go along with existing technologies of sight and of sound. Thanks to the technology coming out of the University of Southern California making this possible.
They have chosen to call their sensor BioTac, which is a new type of tactile sensor designed to mimic the human fingertip with its soft flexible skin. The sensor makes it possible to identify different types of texture by analyzing the vibrations produced as the sensor brushes over materials. This sensor is also capable of measuring pressure applied and ambient temperature around the finger tip, expect to see this technology in next gen prosthetics. Let us know your thoughts on it.
Continue reading “Artificial Skin Lets Robots Feel”
As the most direct interface between computer and programmer, keyboards can be a deeply personal, sometimes almost religious thing. Some find solace in their vintage IBM Model M, or luxurious leather keyboard, but maker [Carol Chen] took things into her own hands, quite literally. [Carol]’s Maker Faire exhibit has a half dozen specimens of interesting commercial tactile and ergonomic options…but [Chen]’s personal keyboard, where she commits to her work as a full-time coder, has been made to her own exacting specifications.
Continue reading “BAMF2011: Keyboards Built From Scratch”
What can you build with a ballpoint pen and some extra parts? [gzip] found himself with a bonus box of right angle switches and other miscellaneous parts and set out to build a joystick. Simple arcade joysticks use switches that are actuated by the movement of the stick and this design embraces the concept. The four tactile switches are mounted on protoboard facing each other with part of a ballpoint pen in the middle. When the pen is moved it presses against one or more switches to close, completing a circuit. For good measure he even incorporated a fire button into the top of the “stick”. Now we just need someone to make this work with a tiny Ms. Pac-Man emulator.
Touch screen interfaces are generally hard and flat. Impress tries to break from that tradition by making the display flexible. Allowing you to feel more like you are interacting with the display. In the image above, the circles seem to physically fall into the dent made by your fingers. Another application shows some rudimentary 3d modeling being done by physically pushing on the vertexes. This prototype is very interesting, we’d love to see much higher resolution on the input side of things. It states that it does pressure sensitivity, but we weren’t able to distinguish it in the video. Maybe you can, catch the video after the break. Maybe laying one of these on some foam would be another alternative.
Continue reading “Impress: Tactile Interface”
We love alternative inputs. They can revitalize an old classic or add a twist to most any mundane task. Here, we see a perfect example where the game Punch Out for the NES is being controlled by a punching bag type thing. The impact sensors were made by hand, and wired to a PC game pad. They were mounted on some foam, allowing for a nice mushy punching surface. There’s some feedback too, when your character is hit, a custom script detects the change in the sprites color and sends a signal to an Arduino. Right now, it just lights an LED, but the goal is to signal a strobe to make you flinch. This looks like it would be fun to play with, especially if you were to make it a little more high impact. You can see a video of them lightly assaulting it after the break.
Continue reading “Punchy Punchout Controller”
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.
Continue reading “Wearable Haptic Devices Bestow Sixth Senses”