World Haptics 2017 Student Innovation Challenge

For the IEEE World Haptics 2017 conference, international teams from six countries used the Haply kit along with the Stanford Hapkit to develop solutions revolving around the theme of using haptics to support learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Here are their projects:

WunderWasser (University of Pennsylvania)

The discipline of fluid mechanics is vitally important for engineers — key to designing tiny microfluidics and enormous dams alike. However, it is often presented much later in an educational curriculum than solid mechanics and seems less intuitive to most students, who have better physical intuition about the movement of everyday solid objects like balls or cars. These students may be able to master the mathematical techniques of fluid dynamics but have trouble connecting the abstract formalism of the hydrostatic equation or Navier-Stokes equations to the forces, velocities, and pressures actually experienced inside a fluid.

EMF Hapkit and EMF Sandbox (McGill University)

For many STEM students, their first interaction with electromagnetic fields is via electrostatics, analyzing a variety of point-charge distributions. Visualization tools exist to give these students a better sense of how electrostatic fields behave, but these representations tend to be abstract and don’t provide a means of self-exploration for students to understand forces, fields, and the underlying nature of
electromagnetism (EM) in general. Furthermore, existing lab technologies, such as dry field maps or electroscope flasks, can be prohibitively expensive for schools and require specialized setups and equipment

Wave of Music: Hear, Feel, See and Learn! (UABC)

We love music, it motivates us either when we are working, when we are studying or when we are driving. Mumbling or singing our favourite tune brings a pleasant experience to our everyday lives. But have you ever wondered how sound travels from a loudspeaker to your ears?

The branch of science that explains this phenomenon is physics, more specifically, acoustics. Unfortunately when we think about physics we usually picture in our heads a bunch of equations written on a whiteboard, plain boring. So, the main goal of our project is to teach physics of sound waves in an interactive and fun way, that is, to provide the students a multimodal and multisensorial platform in which the users will be able to hear and feel with their hands the sound. Even better, the users will be able to understand the physics of sound.

Charges and Fields - An electrostatic virtual lab (UBC)

Our goal with ElectroHaptics is to teach people the principles of electrostatics in an exploratory and tangible way. To do this, we enable individuals to feel abstract electric strength forces based on various configurations of electric charge particles.

We chose electrostatics as our challenge topic due to its importance in everyday applications such as capacitors and batteries. Electrostatics was also chosen due to its underlying principles being related to concepts such as gravity and DNA structures.

Thus, another related learning goal would be to teach how principles such as inverse-square relationships can be generalized to analogous concepts.

Smart Porters: A Haptic Learning Environment (BIT)

The learning system, Smart Porters is developed to teach the basic physical mechanics including the buoyancy force, the wind force and the friction to the students. The correlative phenomena of the three selected knowledge points are common in our daily life, but usually we cannot learn what the physical meanings and influence factors of the different physical forces are, and how these forces influence us. Understanding and grasping the theories and properties of these physics knowledge will facilitate people’s life and work. By designing Smart Porters, learners can study the physics principles in the theory and experience the forces with this system.

TouchTatic (Istanbul Technical University)

Designing a building blueprint is often times done on paper or software. Civil engineers and architects may be familiar with the statics of the buildings on such designs but new learners do not have the intuition. In the learning process there is a disconnect from design and physical forms of the project. The designers receive only visual feedback. We aimed to create a new form of feedback so the user can “feel” the blueprint.

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