Scribble is an Arduino-controlled haptic drawing robot

As part of his master’s studies at Eindhoven University, Felix Ros created a haptic drawing interface that uses a five-bar linkage system to not only take input from one’s finger, but also act as a feedback device via a pair of rotary outputs.

“Scribble” uses an Arduino Due to communicate with a computer, running software written in OpenFrameworks.

For over a century we have been driving cars, enabling us to roam our surroundings with little effort. Now with the introduction of automated driving, machines will become our chauffeurs. But how about getting us around a road construction, or finding a friend in a crowded area? Or what if you just want to explore and find new places, will these cars be able to handle such situations and how can you show your intentions?

Currently there is no middle ground between the car taking the wheel or its driver, this is where Scribble comes in: a haptic interface that lets you draw your way through traffic. You draw a path and the car will follow, not letting you drive but pilot the car. Scribble lets you help your car when in need, and wander your surroundings once again.

You can learn more about Ros’ design in his write-up here, including the code needed to calculate and output forward kinematics to set the X/Y position, and inverse kinematics to sense user input.

Be sure to check it out in the video below piloting a virtual car through traffic with ease!

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Fitbit hit with lawsuit over haptic feedback patents

fitbit-blaze

Fitbit has been hit with a lawsuit from Immersion, a developer of haptic feedback technology, claiming that the Alta HR and Charge 2 maker has infringed on its patents.

Immersion asks for Fitbit to cease manufacturing of all infringing devices, which, we suspect, includes all fitness trackers currently on the market. Fitbit makes use of haptic feedback for notifications, breathing exercises, and touch control, found on all trackers.

See Also: Apple drives wearables to $ 6 billion in first quarter sales

“We are disappointed that Fitbit rejected our numerous attempts to negotiate a reasonable license for Fitbit’s products, but it is imperative that we protect our intellectual property both within the U.S. and through the distribution chain in China,” said Immersion CEO, Victor Viegas.

It should be noted it is not the first time Immersion has taken a large tech company to court over haptic feedback technology. In 2016, it took Apple to court over its 3D Touch technology; some media outlets have labelled Immersion a patent troll.

It has taken Motorola and Sony to court as well, over similar alleged infringements.

Fitbit has been struggling to maintain its dominance in the wearable market, slipping to third in sales to Apple and Xiaomi in the first quarter of 2017. There have been rumors that the company is struggling to build a smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch, and may be looking at the health industry as a possible route to increase profits.

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