Students Learn to Enhance Computers and Robots with Touch-Based Devices

Students in Allison Okamura’s freshman Introductory Seminar designed touch-based devices to help pedestrians navigate, enhance a classic game and create depth perception for the blind.


Stanford students, Sarah Pinto, Bryce Huerta and Elina Thadhani have developed a headband named Haptic headband as a touch-based interaction.

The gathering’s undertaking includes ultrasonic separation sensors and smaller than usual vibrating engines mounted on a headband, in addition to some model gadgets put away in a waistpack. The thought, the group stated, was to enable visually impaired individuals to explore their surroundings all the more effective. While Haptic Headband doesn’t yet give clients exceptionally point by point data about what’s around them.

Grad student Laura Blumenschein, left, observes Grace Zhao and Goli Emami’s project which gives haptic feedback while navigating a maze. Cara Welker, right, a grad student in bioengineering tests the device.

Okamura has to lead the class twice sometime recently, dependably to understudies with next to zero presentation to mechanical autonomy or PC programming. This year, in spite of no unequivocal guidelines to do as such, each of the class’ six groups created haptic gadgets to help clients with extraordinary assignments or show them new abilities.

Okamura said, “The students are very interested in assistive technology and training.”

Along eith this haptic headband, students also built assistive haptic devices: a vibrating glove designed to give a kind of depth perception to people with blindness, a navigational wristband that vibrates when users are supposed to turn right or left, and a footbed fitted with pressure sensors that relay information to a vibrating armband.

The inner workings of one of the devices at the freshman haptics class open house.

Charlotte Peale, a student coordinator said, “During high school, I worked at a podiatry clinic, where we encountered many people with diabetes who had lost feeling in their feet.”

“Now, we wanted to know, what could we do to help them with that?” 

Students Learn to Enhance Computers and Robots with Touch-Based Devices
Students test each other’s devices at the freshman haptics class open house.

Okamura said, “I wanted to teach a course on haptics because, it has a unique interdisciplinary nature to it” that touches on engineering, human biology, social interaction and even ethics. By choosing students with little or no background in robotics, she thought the class would be especially open-minded and explore a wide range of ideas.”

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