To address difficulties with affect dysregulation in youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we designed and developed an end-to-end vibrotactile breathing pacer system and evaluated its usability. In this paper we describe the system architecture and the features we deployed for this system based on expert advice and reviews. Through piloting this system with one child diagnosed with ASD, we learned that our system was used in ways we did and did not anticipate. For example, the paced-breathing personalization procedure did not meet the attention span of the pilot participant but two instead of one pacer devices encouraged caregiver’s involvement. This paper details our learnings and concludes with a list of system design guidelines at the system architecture level. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first fully functional vibrotactile system designed for ASD children that withstood usability testing in vitro for two weeks.
This paper presents FlexHaptics, a design method for creating custom haptic input interfaces. Our approach leverages planar compliant structures whose force-deformation relationship can be altered by adjusting the geometries. Embedded with such structures, a FlexHaptics module exerts a fine-tunable haptic effect (i.e., resistance, detent, or bounce) along a movement path (i.e., linear, rotary, or ortho-planar). These modules can work separately or combine into an interface with complex movement paths and haptic effects. To enable the parametric design of FlexHaptic modules, we provide a design editor that converts user-specified haptic properties into underlying mechanical structures of haptic modules. We validate our approach and demonstrate the potential of FlexHaptic modules through six application examples, including a slider control for a painting application and a piano keyboard interface on touchscreens, a tactile low vision timer, VR game controllers, and a compound input device of a joystick and a two-step button.
From creating input devices to rendering tangible information, the field of HCI is interested in using kinematic mechanisms to create human-computer interfaces. Yet, due to fabrication and design challenges, it is often difficult to create kinematic devices that are compact and have multiple reconfigurable motional degrees of freedom (DOFs) depending on the interaction scenarios. In this work, we combine compliant mechanisms (CMs) with tensioning cables to create dynamically reconfigurable kinematic mechanisms. The devices’ kinematics (DOFs) is enabled and determined by the layout of bendable rods. The additional cables function as on-demand motion constraints that can dynamically lock or unlock the mechanism’s DOFs as they are tightened or loosened. We provide algorithms and a design tool prototype to help users design such kinematic devices. We also demonstrate various HCI use cases including a kinematic haptic display, a haptic proxy, and a multimodal input device.
We present Shape-Haptics, an approach for designers to rapidly design and fabricate passive force feedback mechanisms for physical interfaces. Such mechanisms are used in everyday interfaces and tools, and they are challenging to design. Shape-Haptics abstracts and broadens the haptic expression of this class of force feedback systems through 2D laser cut configurations that are simple to fabricate. They leverage the properties of polyoxymethylene plastic and comprise a compliant spring structure that engages with a sliding profile during tangible interaction. By shaping the sliding profile, designers can easily customize the haptic force feedback delivered by the mechanism. We provide a computational design sandbox to facilitate designers to explore and fabricate Shape-Haptics mechanisms. We also propose a series of applications that demonstrate the utility of Shape-Haptics in creating and customizing haptics for different physical interfaces.