Posts Tagged ‘haptic assistance’

A Biofeedback Game Controller using Arduino UNO and EMG

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Brian Kaminski of Advancer Technologies describes in a his new instructable post how to utilize their EMG Sensor Kit to build a USB Biofeedback Game Controller. You can use it to play any computer game (that uses keyboard inputs) using your muscles as the controller!

The EMG Sensor is integrated with the Arduino UNO allowing four muscles to act independently or in combination with each other to control over four buttons. In his demonstration, six button setup has been selected with the left forearm controlling the B button (RUN/ATTACK), the right forearm controlling the A button (JUMP), the left bicep controlling the LEFT button, the right bicep controlling the RIGHT button, and combinations for UP and DOWN.

Check the video here:

To build the project you need the following:

1 x Arduino Uno R2 (needs the atmega8u2 USB chip which is only available on newer Arduino MCUs)
1 x Arduino Project Enclosure
1 x USB cable for your Arduino
4 x Advancer Technologies Platinum Muscle Sensor
1 x Advancer Technologies Muscle Sensor Power Supply (without headers)
1 x 12V Power Supply (Wall wart)
4 sets of EMG Cables and Electrodes

Instructions and code for the Arduino and your computer (Processing code) is provided here.

The Tacit Project: An Arduino-based sonar feedback device for the blind

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Steve Hoefer from Grathio Labs has developed the Tacit project, basically an assistance device for sonar obstacle avoidance with haptic feedback. The device can measure the distance to objects and translate that into pressure on the wrist. It is based on our favorite Arduino Mini Pro.

According to Steve, it’s wrist mounted and senses objects from about 1 inch (2 cm) to 10 feet (3.5m).  It has generally fast response time (fractions of a second) to quickly navigate complex environments. It’s designed to help a vision impaired person to navigate complex environments.  Mounted to the back of the hand, the force feedback means it doesn’t interfere with other assistance devices that mount elsewhere and use audio feedback cues.

Steve shares in his post all the information on how to build it (parts and schematics) and the Arduino code as well. Great work and beautiful design Steve!

Check also the video for a short live demo of the prototype:


Keyglove: A wearable, wireless, open source device

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The Keyglove is an innovative new way to interact with your technology. A wearable, wireless, open-source input device, the Keyglove provides unprecedented flexibility and convenience for gaming, design, art, music, data entry, device control, 3D object manipulation, and even inexpensive telepresence. The Keyglove uses customizable touch combinations and gestures to enter text data, control the mouse, switch between applications and perform multiple operations with a single action.

Some of the basic features include:

  • Touch-based full keyboard input
  • Motion-based full mouse control
  • Gesture control for mouse and/or keyboard commands
  • 3D spatial input for representing motion and position in a 3D environment
  • Completely customizable touch configuration and behavior
  • Touch-and-hold modifier key capability
  • Shortcut key combinations (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+F1)
  • Batch entries (e.g. one touch to send full words at once)
Apart from the obvious usage in wearable computing, gaming and VR interfacing, the Keyglove can also be utilized in cases of limited mobility and motion disabilities or for monitoring the progress/rehabilitation of motion diseases as well!
Currently, the Keyglove prototype is based on an Arduino Mega, and build instructions here will give you more details on how to make your own!

The Haptic Compass

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Another project by Monkeys & Robots that demonstrates how easy and feasible it is to build  projects with haptic feedback for the visually impaired or for people with orientation issues.

The belt has twelve shaftless vibration motors spaced equally along its length. The motors are epoxied to a 14 conductor ribbon cable.  They connect electrically by plugging in to the ribbon crimps spaced along the cable.  The control box contains a Sparkfun Funnel IO Arduino board, (currently replaced by Arduino FIO) which has a built in XBee socket and LiPO charger IC on board.  The box also contains a I2C Honeywell compass module.  Its powered by a LiPO battery.

The belt can be enhanced by communicating with an Android phone for allowing gps assisted guidance or connected to IR sensors and warn users when walking close to physical obstacles, etc.

Haptic Assisted Locating of Obstacles – H.A.L.O. using Arduino :-)

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Polymythic had the idea to develop a haptic feedback device for the visually impaired (Project H.A.L.O. as he has named it), that uses a series of rangefinders that would take input from sensors and output feedback to pulse vibration motors placed on a person’s head. As a person gets closer to an object the intensity and frequency of the vibration would increase – it’s directly proportional to the distance of an object. If a region was lacking feedback, then it would be safe to proceed in that direction.


The main microcontroller for receiving the sensor feedback and generating the vibrations is Arduino Mega 2560.

More information and build instructions here!