Touch Typing Taught Haptically DIY-style
Can haptic gloves teach touch typing with less effort? David Schnieder gives it a try. Educate the muscles and nerves of the hands, and let your mind wander.
(Touch Typing Taught Haptically DIY-style video)
So while my wife was sewing eight diminutive vibration motors into the fingers of a pair of cycling gloves, I set about working on the hardware and software for a haptic typing tutor...
The first challenge was how to drive the 14-millimeter-diameter vibration motors I had purchased on eBay (US $13.85 for a set of 10, including shipping). I briefly considered using MOSFET transistors to drive the motors, but I decided to follow Starner’s example instead based on the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” principle: He used Darlington transistor arrays for this purpose. So I used two ULN2003s, one for the four motors on each hand. These chips handle the job without fuss: Each 14-pin IC contains seven Darlington transistor pairs along with diodes to protect against voltage spikes when you switch off inductive loads such as motors. It was a simple matter to wire the inputs to these arrays to an Arduino Nano plugged into a prototyping board and connect the outputs to each glove with short lengths of Cat 5 cable.
I programmed the Arduino to activate a given motor for a quarter of a second corresponding to each character I sent to the microcontroller’s serial port—a “1” would vibrate the motor pressing on the left pinkie, a “2” for the left ring finger, a “3” for the left middle finger, and so forth. That was dead simple. The tougher job was to write a program that would run on a laptop computer so that my kids would associate the stimulation of their fingers with the correct sequence of keystrokes you make when touch-typing a word.
For that, I used Tkinter, which provides an easy way to create a graphical user interface with Python, my favorite computer language at the moment...
It's not quite the same thing, but I think that Robert Heinlein had the basic idea right in his 1942 novella Waldo how Waldo F. Jones taught machinists using waldoes - tele operated gloves:
'Now.. . your name, please?'
'Very well, friend Alec - the gloves.'
Jenkins thrust his arms into the waldoes and waited. Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him; all three pairs, including the secondary pair mounted before the machine, came to life. Jenkins bit his lip, as if he found unpleasant the sensation of having his fingers manipulated by the gauntlets he wore.
Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous paral-lelism.
'Feel it, my dear Alec,' Waldo advised. 'Gently, gently the sensitive touch. Make your muscles work for you.'
He then started hand movements of definite pattern; the
waldoes at the power tool reached up, switched on the power,
and began gently, gracefully, to continue the machining of
Read more about this very cool DIY project on IEEE Spectrum.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/22/2014)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.' - Isaac Asimov, 1941.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'
Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'
Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'
FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.
Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'
Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'
Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'
China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'
China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '
Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories