Students in this class will learn how to build, program, and control haptic devices, which are mechatronic devices that allow users to feel virtual or remote environments. In the process, students will gain an appreciation for the capabilities and limitations of human touch, develop an intuitive connection between equations that describe physical interactions and how they feel, and gain practical interdisciplinary engineering skills related to robotics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science. We will send each student a free Hapkit to be assembled, tested, and programmed at home. Laboratory assignments using Hapkit will give students hands-on experience in assembling mechanical systems, making circuits, programming Arduino-based micro-controllers, and testing their haptic creations. After the class, we hope that you will continue to use and modify your Hapkit, and let us know about your haptic creations.
The required background for this course is high-school physics (non-calculus is fine) and pre-calculus. Programming is experience is helpful, but not required. Haptic device design, robotics, and mechatronics experience are not required -- this is designed as a gateway course for these topics.