Flowing Robotic Surface - Haptic Imaging device for blind scientists

Project number: 
Steward Observatory Solar Lab
Academic year: 
Design and build a device to help blind scientists visualize data maps. The device will be a computer- controlled surface that changes its shape based on data input. The device will display a continuous three-dimensional shape allowing a blind person to feel a contour map, heat plot, or other 3D continuous surface data.

The team will work with blind students to develop the technical specifications for resolution, surface material properties, and use cases. The team will select a data input format. The device will import the data via USB, check to ensure that the data is continuous and is compatible with the device, It will then scale the data to fit the size and dynamic range of the device, and finally the device will change the shape of the surface to display the data.

Bonus features: An audio readout of the x,y, and z scales, and other data required in the use cases; and continuous motion to display data that changes over time.

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