A shape-shifting navigation device for both the sighted and visually impaired (w/ Video)

September 1st, 2015 | by dnw |

Without doubt, this concept has to be the most lateral thinking piece of technology I’ve seen recently.

Just think what it would be capable of if it had GPS built in and a route could be preprogrammed in it from a map. Or a phone providing real time navigation information from a pocket and the cube responding by physically changing. Just brilliant.

Combine mechanical engineering, experimental theater, and an old dark church, and you’re bound to get some interesting results—a new navigation device, for instance.

That’s what happened when Yale University engineer Adam Spiers, a postdoctoral associate in the robotics lab of associate professor Aaron Dollar, worked on a London-based interactive production of “Flatland.” … The sighted and visually impaired audience members were kept in complete darkness most of the time … Guiding them through the darkness were handheld, shape-shifting cubes that Spiers designed and created with 3-D printing technology.

… The top half of the cube twists to direct users toward their next destination and extends forward to indicate the distance to reach it…. users know where to go by feeling the changing shapes.

“The simple idea is that when you’ve arrived at your target destination, it becomes a little cube again,” said Spiers, who specializes in the field of haptics, the sense of touch.

See link for video.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: A shape-shifting navigation device for both the sighted and visually impaired (w/ Video)

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