Compass Vibro Anklet

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Eric and Skory are currently working on a vibro-tactile compass in anklet form.

The Idea

Like everyone, we are inspired by that German dude's belt, but think the big, clunky belt is too impractical. Skory thought of pairing an accelerometer with a compass to build a bracelet responds to the relative difference in motion of the arm vs. direction to north. Eric suggested doing that instead in an anklet. Running into difficulties with the whole accelerometer business, we're starting simple just building a vibrating anklet, and teaching an Arduino to talk to it and a HM55B 2-axis compass chip (we are actively pursuing economically upgrading to a 3-axis chip).'s Comments

Other people have also been inspired by the wired article, see for instance the other Eric: On the Haptic Compass - I've worn this belt and it's actually very intuitive. Note that he used 12 motors. There are many helpful links to parts (sensors, cables, vibrators, Arduinos, etc) in both the article and the comments. I am especially intrigued by Todd's idea of a "“foveated” motor distribution, where you have, say, three motors spaced narrowly across the forehead/belly, and the rest spread out around the less crucial sides and back. This might give you high accuracy where it counts (at the leading edge of most movement) without sacrificing too much function along the rest of the arc."

Hack Notes

March 24, 2009

March 26, 2009