Saturday, May 4, 2013

Haptics: the technology of touch

Got six minutes to spare for viewing a TED video? Here's one that will add new words to your technology vocabulary, starting with 'haptics', the technology of touch.

Katherine Kuchenbecker is a mechanical engineer practicing at the University of Pennsylvania. She does experiments in haptics.

What's the big idea here?  To add a heretofore unavailable human factor to what we can already see and hear, to wit: synthesized touch.

This can be used to train those that work with their hands, like doctors and artists, about what something is going to feel like when they encounter it for real. So also rehabilitation of those with artifical limbs

And, ever stared through glass case in a museum and wonder what the object felt like? Just put you and on a senor pad to 'feel' the object. (Hand cleaner supplied separately)

If you're running an engineering project, you might hear words like these from your SME's
Tactile: referring to contact location, pressure, shear, slip, vibration, temperature
Kinesthetic: referring to position, orientation, force

If you like this TED video, you might also follow-up with this TED video, materials and technologies you might see in your next project (Caution: risk mangement required!)
  • Building blocks that blink, beep and teach: (5:27) TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.
    For project prototypes, human factor experimentation, and putting down options, these may be a project winner    

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