InerTouchHand - Hand device with distributed inertial sensors and touch vibro-tactile feedback
Project Type: MSc Project
Research Field: Human-Machine Interfaces
Time span: 09/2011-09/2012

In this project we will explore the use of distributed accelerometers and vibrotactile stimulators on the hand, supported by a glove specifically designed for that purpose, to be used for enhanced virtual reality interaction and HMI-Human Machine Interface applications. Distributed accelerometers can be used to infer structure and reconstruct 6D pose of nodes, as well as relative motion, although not always fully observable. When combined with vibro-tactile stimulators a hand worn device or glove can provide spacial aware feedback.

Distributed accelerometers can provide rich information about the orientation relative to the vertical gravity reference, as well as dynamic information about motion. Although the smartdust concept failed in a way to deliver the initially envisioned results, for sensing hand pose and motion distributed accelerometers are an interesting solution. The hand can be seen as a pice-wise rigid body with joint restricted movements, as well as some compliant parts. Minute sensors can be linked in a local bus and provide rich data on the pose and motion. Future implementations might even tap into the concept of energy harvesting, taking advantage of the hand kinetic energy to power the sensing or even the complete system.

Related People

Jorge Lobo
Pedro Machado