Haptic Vest and Haptic Toolkit

[Main Project Page] | [Haptic Vest 1] | [Haptic Vest 2]

Haptic Vest is a vest that enables vision-impaired users to experience their surroundings by vibratory actuations on the belly. A person can feel a depth image of what is in front of them. An Asus Xtion depth camera mounted on the chest captures the area in front of a person. This is then translated into PWM values to control an array of vibration motors. Each vibration motor represents a pixel of the downscaled image, and the intensity of the vibration displays how far away on object at this position is. This project was formerly called OpenVNAVI and was developed by David Sanchez. It was later renamed to VibroVision and then to HaptiVest.

Besides from the setup for controlling large numbers of vibration motors we also develop a more general toolkit for using multiple sorts of sensors and actuators called YAWN.



(Image credits: BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel (left), RWTH Lehrstuhl Medieninformatik/Jan Thar (right))

  • Jun 13, 2017: Our Haptic Vest 2.0, a wearable vest that renders depth images from a front-facing camera onto the wearer's torso using an array of vibration motors, enabling people with vision impairments to avoid obstacles while walking, was featured in a dedicated TV report in WDR Lokalzeit Aachen today. The report (in German) starts at 14'50" into the program (local cached copy).



Upcoming Presentations



Florian Heller, Jan Thar, Dennis Lewandowski, Mirko Hartmann, Pierre Schoonbrood, Sophy Stoenner, Simon Voelker, and Jan Borchers. CutCAD - An Open-source Tool to Design 3D Objects in 2D. In DIS '18: Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS '18, New York, NY, USA, 2018. ACM. PDF Document BibTeX Entry.


Jan Thar, Florian Heller, Sophy Stoenner, and Jan Borchers. HapticToolkit: Easily Integrate and Control Vibration Motor Arrays for Wearables. In ISWC '17: Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, pages 249–253, September 2017. PDF Document BibTeX Entry.
Nadine Bergner, Patrick Franken, Julia Kleeberger, Thiemo Leonhardt, Mario Lukas, Mario Pesch, Natalia Prost, Jan Thar, and Lina Wassong. Das Calliope-Buch: Spannende Bastelprojekte mit dem Calliope-Mini-Board. dpunkt, July 2017. BibTeX Entry.


Philipp Wacker, Chat Wacharamanotham, Daniel Spelmezan, Jan Thar, David A. Sánchez, René Bohne, and Jan Borchers. VibroVision: An On-Body Tactile Image Guide for the Blind. In CHI '16 EA: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pages 3788–3791, New York, NY, USA, May 2016. ACM. Homepage PDF Document BibTeX Entry.


Prof. Jan Borchers: Project Manager
Jan Thar: Project Lead (main contact person)
Sophy Stönner - Design & Textiles
Dr. Simon Voelker: Project Manager


This project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of their Open Photonics call (Personal Photonics, 13N14065).

Created by wacker. Last Modification: Thursday 04 of October, 2018 13:53:59 by thar.

Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen